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BY THE y" 







Iinpellimur autem Natura, ut prodesse Telimus quatnplurimis iniprimisque docendo, 

Itaque non facile est inveiiire, qui quod sciat ipse, non ti-adat alttri. 

Cic. deFin. lib. iji. 







Observation. Page. 

XXVII. Of watermelons, and their great utility in the P^ast 9 
xxviii. Curious observations on the dove's dung, mentioned 

2 Kings vi. 25 - - - 13 

XXIX. Wine and flo^yers frequent in Eastern entertainments 16 

XXX. Burning of aromatics at their feasts - - IS 

XXXI. Singular method of inviting persons to an entertainment, 

in the East - - - 20 

XXXI I. Entertainments made in the opep air in hot countries 21 
xxxiii. In those out of door entertainments, any passenger is in- 
vited to partake - - 27 

XXXIV. Fishermen in the East frequently land to dress and eat 

their fish on the seashore - - 28 
XXXI V. Of their sitting on heaps of stones at their feasts 55 
XXXV. Manner in which the Copts eat their victuftls 57 
xxxvi. Method of cultivating rice in different parts of the East 
Indies, to which frequent allusion is made in the Sa- 
cred Writings - - 38 
XXXVII. Strange method of eating among the Arabs 43 
XXXV 1 11. Butter and honey used as a breakfast among the Arabs 47 
XXXIX Honey not wholesome to Europeans in the East 52 
XL. Flavour of honey peculiarly excellent, when just expressed 

from the combs - - - ^^ 

XL I. Of their honey pots - - - 60 

XLit. Different kinds of delicacies used in the East 61 

XLiii. Potted flesh raaJe use of by travellers in the East 63 

XLiv. Different kinds of game esteemed delicacies in the East 65 

XL V. Shoulder of lamb a delicacy in the East - 66 

XLvi. Fat lambs esteemed a delicacy in the East 68 

xLvll. How strangers ai-e entertained in the East ibid 


*^^^- Page. 

XL VII I, Roasted and stewed meat, delicacies among the Arabs 73 

acLix. Of their pottage in the East - - 76 

L. Seldom use flesh meat, but live on milk, pulse, &c. 77 

Li. Game sometimes used. Hunting of the Arabs 78 

LI I. Inhabitants of the villages obliged to supply their grandees 

M'hen on a journey, with provisions - 80 

LIT I. Different methods of serving' up food at meals - 82 

Liv. Manner of eating at courts - - 85 
LV. Provisions sent from the tables of Eastern princes to the 

poor, kc. - . - 87 

7. VI. Women and men do not eat together in the East 88 
Lvii. The Eastern people begia to eat very early in the morning 89 
Lviii. Abstemiousness conducive to health - - 90 
Lix. Mats used in the East instead of tables - - 91 

LX. V'arious utensils used by the ancient Jews - 93 

LXi. Women are still accustomed to draw water in the East 100 

LXii. Water the principal beverage in the East 101 

LXiii. Large supply of cattle at the tables of princes 102 

1.x IV. Drinking vessels often mnde of gold in the East 107 

LXV. Horns used as drinking vessels in the Ease 108 

LXvi. Effects of wine upon some Eastern devotees IIQ 

Lxvii. Ditferent kinds of wines in the East - - 111 

^xvjii. Sweet wines much esteemed in the East - 117 

I.XIX. The Easterns drink their wine before meat - 119 

LXX. Libations of wine still made in the East - 120 

Lxxi. Of their wine presses - . . 121 

LXXii. The reason why wine is often poured from vessel to vessel 122 

^xxiii. Snow put into the wine in order to cool it ibid 

LXXiv. Vinegar and lemon juice used as drinks in the East 123 

LXXV. Of lemons, oranges, and citrons - - 125 

Lxxvi. Superior excellence of the pistachio nuts of Syria 130 

LXXV 1 1. Kemarks on Ziba's present to David - - ibid 

Lxxviii Of music in the EasUrn feasts - . I34 

LXXiX. Different kinds of musical instruments used in the East 136 

Lxxx. Of field and house music at Aleppo - - 139 



I. Eastern travellers carry their provisions with them 14* 
II. Carry also skins filled with water, for their refreshment on 

theirjournies - - - - 142 


Obs. Page. 

III. Carry also provender for their beasts - - 144 

1 V. Their manner of making up their packages 148 

V. Of their wells, and the method of drawing water from them 149 

vl. How they dispose of their baggage on jouruies, illustrating 

Fzek. xii. 3—7 - - - 150 
vll. They relieve the tedium of the way on their journies by 

music, songs, tales, &c. - - - 153 
vlll. Their manner of travelling by camels, dromedaries, boats, 

&c. - - - - 154 
Ix. No mangers used in the East ; hair bags and stone troughs 

answering the purpose - - - 158 

X. Their caravans composed of people of different nations 159 
xl. Different kinds of vehicles used in the caravans for persons 

of distinction, the sick, he. - _ - 160 

xll. Method of wearing their swords in travelling 163 

xlll. Travellers on horseback attended by persons on foot ibid 

xlv. Their method of travelling on foot - - 164 

XV. Of their roads, enclosures, &c. - - - 165 

xvl. Of their enclosures, fences, walls, &c. - 169 

xvll. Of their woods in the Hoh Land - 171 

xvlll. Dangerous chasms near Aleppo - - 172 

xlx. Hospitalit) of the Arabs to travellers, explaining Luke xiv. 

23, kc. and Jerem. xlix. 3 - - 173 
XX. Provisions used in journeying, with a curious comment on 

a petition of the Lord's prayer - - 175 
xxl. Provisions often extorted from the poor inhabitants of the 

country, by the officers of government 183 
xxll. The times of journeying, pitching their tents, &c. 188 
xxll I. Time of shutting their gates in the East - - 190 
xxlv. Civility of the women to strarigers - - 193 
XXV. Of caravansaries, and public imis in the East 194 
xxvl. The great liberality of the Arabs to their fellow travellers 196 
xxvl I. Curious criticisms on John iv< 6 - - 197 
xxvlll. Water carried sometimes in skius, and sometimes in earth- 
en jars - - - 202 
xxlx. On the supposition that the Israelites marched out of Egypt, 

in files of five in front - - -OS 

"xxx. Manner observed by the Eastern caravans in their journies '205 

xxxl. Caravans travel chiefly in the night - - 207 
sxxll. In journeying, bells are sometimes appended both to horses 

and camels - - " 208 


Obs. Page, 

xxxlll. Of the lights used for travelling by night - 211 
xxxlv. The necessity of guides in travelling through the Eastern 

deserts - - - 217 
xxxT. Heaps of stones placed at certain distances, to point out the 

•way in the deserts - - - 219 

CHAP. vr. 


1. Gifts presented to inferiors in the East - - 224 

11. Particular kinds of presents made to superiors 227 

111. The preceding subject continued - - 231 

Iv. Presents made at the circumcision of children 232 

V. Presents of meat and drink made to their great men 233 

vl. Presents often very expensive in the K.ast, not only those 

made to strangers, but to private persons 235 

vll. Presents often considered as a tribute - - 237 

ylll. Dresses often given to persons of distinction 238 
Ix. Flowers and odoriferous herbs often given as a token of 

friendship - - - 239 
X. Presents, unless of considerable value are sometimes re- 
jected - - - 240 
xl. Horses commonly presented to grandees 242 
\11. When an inferior is visited by a superior, the former 

makes him a present at his departure 243 
.vUl. Presents sometimes made to princes to engage them to 

lend their assistance in time of war - - 244 
xlv. On the Eastern method of salutations - - 245 
XV. Particular kinds of salutations • - 250 
xvl. Further considerations on the same subject - - 255 
xvU. Salutation both by attitude and expression 256 
xvlU. Sometimes the inferior mentions himself before the per- 
son he intends to honor ... 257 
xlx. Prostrations, and kissing the feet sometimes practised in 

the East - - - - 258 
XX. Kissing the hand and putting it on the head, tokens of 

respect _ - _ . gCl 

xxl. Kissing what is presented, a token of respect to superiors 262 
^:xll. Intimate acquaintances kiss each other's hands, head, or 

shoulders - - - 266 

iixlll. Kissing the beard, a token of respect 267 

xxlv. Beards held in high estimation in the East 268 


Obs. Page. 

XXV. Kissing the hand, a token of reverence 269 

xxvl. Dismounting, a token of respect - - SrO 

xxvl 1. Christians in Egypt obliged to alight, when a Turk passes by 271 

xxvl 11. Different postures indicating respect - - 273 

xxlx. Stating a person on a cushion, a token of respect ibid 

XXX. Silting in the corner, a token of superiority 274 

xxxl. Different kinds of perfumes used at the close of friendly 

visits - - - - - 281 

xxxll. The subject further illustrated from Dan. ii. 46 283 

xxxlll. Changing the dress of a person, a token of honor 293 

xxxlv. Presents of garments often made even to the great 295 

XXXV. Party coloured garments esteemed a mark of honor 296 

xxxvl Eastern warriors often magnificently clothed - 297 

xxxvll. Sometimes a prince gives his own garment as a token of 

the highest respect - - - 298 

sxxvl 1 1 Criminals not permitted to look on the person of the king 300 

xxxlx Other curious methods of doing persons honor 

XL. Riding on horseback, the privilege only of highly privileged 
persons - . - - 
xLl. Honors conferred on those who have got the Koran by heart 
xLll. Watering the ground to lay the dust, before a superior 
XLlll. Singular method of honoring an Arabian princess 310 
XlIv. Honors paid to Nadir Shah - - - 312 
xLV. The Easterns often change their garments in token of re- 
spect - - - - - 31;i 
xLvt. New clothes used in times of rejoicing - - 314 
XLvll. The dress of brides often changed during the marriage 

solemiity - - " " ^^"' 

SLvlU. Curious criticism on Psalm cxxiii. 2 - - SIS 
xLlx. Remarkable condescension sometimes shown by the East- 

ern nobles 

L. Females often express their joy by clapping their hands 320 

Ll. Dancing and music used in doing persons honor 323 

lU. Some account of the ancient Eastern dances 

Llll. Description of a Maronite wedding 

Llv. Different methods of expressing their joy - 326 

Lv. Music and singing used in honoring superiors 

Lvl. A spear in the hand or a standard carried before x person, 

are marks of honor 
T.vU. Letters sent to superiors are made up in a peculiar and 
costly style - - - 







Obs. Page. 

Lvlll. Bracelets sometimes ensigns of royalty - - 336 

Llx, Numerous lights, curiouslj' disposed, used in doing persons 

honor - - . . 337 

Lx. Chains on the necks of caraels, &c. marks of distinction and 

grandeur - - . 338 

Lxl. Umbrellas used for the san»e purposes - - 339 

Lxll. Feathers used as ornaments in the East - - 341 

Lxlll. Persons not possessing the regal dignJty, sometimes honor- 
ed by permission to sit on a throne - - 346 
Lxlv. Shields carried before persons, a mark of honor 348 
Lxv. Rich dresses and costly furs used in doing honor to persons 

of distinction . _ - 349 

Lxvl. Red shoes and girdles, supposed to have been marks of dig- 
nity in ancient times - - - 351 
LXvll. Different articles of dress used among the ancients 355 
Lxvlll. The same Subject continued - - 361 
Lxlx Eunuchs attendant on the great - - S63 
Lxx. A curious illustration of Ezek. xliv. 2, 3 - - 364 
Lxxl. Giving the hand to a person, a token of subjection 3Q9 
Lxxll. Curious illustration of Ezek. xxvii. 12, 16 - 366 
ixxlll. High raised seats, places of honor - - 370 
ixxlv. Of the use of carpets in devotion, and of sackcloth in 

mourning - - - - 578 

Lxxv. The manner in which the sabbath is honored among the 

modern Greeks - - - 376 

Lxxvl. Of stretching out their hands in prayer - 378 

Lxxvll. Prostration at the threshold, one mode of honoring per- 
sons in the East - - 579 
Lxxvlll. Fine handkerchiefs, embroidered cloth and pieces of curi- 
ous needlework, given as tokens of respect 10 persons 
in the East - - 382 
Lxxxlx. A curious illustration of the history of Joseph 384 
Lxxx. Pecuniary rewards tokei.s of honor in the Fast 38S 
i.xxxl. Various methods of honoring persons, something similar to 
those in the East, anciently practised in European 
kingdoms - - - 390 
Lxxxll. Giving and receiving presents, pledges of mutual friend- 
ship ..... 395 
Lxxxlll. Presents made and received, essentially necessary to civil 

intercourse in the East - - - 395 







Melons, which are now so common, and at the same 
time in the highest esteem in the East, are contemporary 
with grapes, with pomegranates, and with figs ; one would 
be inclined then to imagine that they have been intro- 
duced into the Holy Land since the time Moses sent 
Joshua, and the other spies, from the Wilderness of 
Pirai, to examine, and bring back an account of its pro- 
ductions; as writers tell us many other useful plants 
have been imported from other places into that country, 
or at least ils neighbourhood.^ 

Melons, according to Sir J. Chardin, are the most ex- 
cellent fruU that they have in Persia ;t and he tells us 
the season for eating them holds four months. J Dr. 
Shaw observed that musk and watermelons began to be 
gathered the latter end of June in Barbar>,|| consequent- 
ly a month or more before either pomegranates the 
common kind of fig, or the grape, begin to ripen. But if 

* iee Dr, Shaw, p. 341. f Voy . de M. Chardin, tome ii, p. >8- 

TOL. II. 2 


they hold four months, or about half so long only, they 
must have been found in the time of the first ripe grapes,^ 
when Ihe spies were sent out. Agreeably to this, Dr. 
Richard Chandler mentions figs,^ melons, such as are pe- 
culiar to hot climates, (1 suppose he means waterDielons) 
and grapes, in large and rich clusters, fresh from the vine- 
yard, were served up to him in Asia Minor, at the close 
of a repast at noon, in the month of August. 

They certainly now grow in the Holy Land. It is 
the fruit which Egmont and Heyman selected from all 
the rest that they found growing on Mount Carmel, as 
the subject of panegyric, being in themselves so excellent^ 
and so much cultivated there.f 

"Doubtless," says Dr. Shaw, "the watermelon, or 
(tngnra, or }nstac}xa^ or dillah, as they call it here, is 
providentially calculated for the southern countries, as 
it affords a cool, refreshing juice, assuages thirst, mitigate* 
feverish disorders, and compensates thereby, in no small 
degree, for the excessive heats, not so much of these as 
of the more southern districts," J 

Surelvj if they had then grown in that country, the 
spies would have carried a sample of this refreshing fruit 
to the camp of Israel in Paran, as easy to be conveyed 
thither as any of those they brought to Moses. In fact, 
melons are now carried to very distant places. The 
best melons, according to Sir John Chardin, grow in 
Corassan, near the Little Tartary. They bring them to 
Ispahan for the king, and to make presents of. They are 
not spoiled in the carrying, though they are brought 
above thirty days' journey. He adds, that he had eaten, 
at Surat in the Indies, melons that had been sent from 
Ascra. This, he observed, was still more extiaordinary. 
They were carried by a man on foot, in baskets, one in 
in a basket, being very large, which baskets were hanged 

* Vo: tlie grape, according to Shaw, begins to ripen in Barbary toward 
^he cn<l of July, p. 146. 

tVol.ii.p. 12. tP. Ul. 


un a pole, one at each end, the pole being laid on one of 
his shoulders, from whence, for ease, he shifted it to the 
other from time to time. These people go seven or eigh! 
leagues a day with their load. 

The way of carrying the cluster of grapes, from the 
valley of Eschol, did not much differ.* It would have 
been easy to have carried some of the melons after this 
Persian manner, or in a basket between two, or as they 
did the uncured figs and pomegranates: their carrying 
none seems to show they then did not grow in that coun- 
try, though they do now in plenty, and are so much 
valued as to be distinctly mentioned, when other fruits 
are not taken notice of. 

It may even, possibly, be doubted whether they then 
commonly grew in Egypt, notwithstanding that, accord- 
ing to our translation, the Israelites, in the Wilderness, 
regretted the want of them there : We remember the fish 
which we did eat in Egi/pt freely, the cucumbers, and 
the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and thegarlick, 
Numb. xi. 5. I have elsewhere shown that the justness 
of our version may be questioned, as to some other things 
mentioned here ; and perhaps the second of the words 
used to describe the vegetables they longed after has 
been mistranslated. 

It is true, they are now in great numbers, and in great 
variety, in Egypt : but some of them, we are positively 
assured, have been introduced into that country, from 
other places, and some of them not very many ages back. 
Perhaps none of the more delicious of the melon kind 
were aboriginal^ or introduced so early as the time of 
Moses. The Septuagint, which is known to be an Egypt- 
ian translation, supposed fruit of the melon kind was meant 
by the Hebrew word,t which appears no where else in 
the Old Testament: but it is to be remembered, that 
great improvements might have been, and doubtless ac- 
tually were made, in the introducing foreign plants into 

* Numb. xiii. 23. f DTItO^J^ abtachaem, for Ihey translate it nejrofat? 

11 nELATlN(? TO THEIR DIET, kc. 

Egypt, between the tiuie of Moses and that of Ptolemj 
Pliiladelphus. All, perhaps, that can be certainly said 
about it is, that if these watermelons were common in 
Egypt, in the time the children of Israel sojourned there, 
it can be no wonder that they longed for them in those 
sultry deserts; and that as improvements went \ery 
slowly on in those very early times, they might not have 
been introduced into the land of Canaan, when the spies 
took a survey of it. Had they found it there, they 
would no doubf, have brought a specimen of this fruit to 
JVIoses and Israel in the Wilderness. Nor would it have 
been unmenlioned, in those passages that speak of the 
fertility of the country promised to the patriarchs. 

It may be amusing to subjoin Maillet's account of this 
kind of fruit, in its present state in Egypt. =^ "Among 
the different kinds of vegetables, which are of importance 
to supply the want of life, or to render it more agreeable, 
he tells us, is the melons, which, without dispute, is there 
one of the most salutary and common among them. All 
the species that they have in Europe, and in the seaports 
of the Mediterranean, are to be found in Egypt. Besides 
Ihem, there is one, whose substance is green and very de- 
licious. It grows round like a bowl, and is commonly of 
an admirable taste. There are also watermelons, ex- 
tremely good. But above all the rest, at Cairo and its 
neighbourhood, they boast of a species of melons, pointed 
at each end and swelling out in the middle, which the 
people of the country call abdelarins. This is an Ara- 
bian word, which signifies the slave of sweetness. In fact, 
these melons are not to be eaten without sugar, as being 
insipid without it. Macrisi says, this last kind was for- 
merly transported hither, by a man whose name they bear. 
They give it to the sick, to whom they refuse all other 
kinds of fruit. The rind is very beautifully wrought; its 
figure very singular ; as well as the manner of ripening it, 
which is by applying a red hot iron to one of its extremi- 

* Let. 0, p. n, 13. 


lies. The people of the country eat it green as well as 
ripe, and m the same manner as we eat apples. These 
melons, of a foreign extraction, continue 1 wo whole months, 
and grow no where else in Egjpt. They say the same 
species is found in Cyprus. ""^ 


TIONED 2 KINGS vi. 25. 

The royal city of Samaria was so severely distressed, 
when a certain king of Syria besieged it, that we are told 
an ass^s head then sold for fourscore pieces of silver, and 
the fourth part of a cab of dove* s dung for five pieces :\ 
thiii last article has been thoughl to be so unfit for food, 
that it has been very commonly imagined, I think, that a 
species of pulse was meant by that term ;J nevertheless, 
I cannot but think it much the most probable, that proper 
doves dung was meant by the prophetic historian, since, 

* *' The Arabians," according to Hasselquist, Voyages p. 255, *' call th« 
ivaiermelon, b a. tech, a word evidently derived from the Hebrew XM21 
katach, whence the plural OTICDN ubtachuem. It is cultivated, h« 
observes, in Kgypt on the banks of the Nile, in the rich clayey earth 
-which subsides during the inundation. This serves the Eg} ptians for meat, 
drink, and physic. !t is eaten in abundance during the season, even by the 
richer sort of people; but the common people, on whom Providence has 
bestowed nothing but poverty and patience, scarcely eat any thing but 
these ; and account this the best time of the year, as they are obliged to 
put up with worse fare at other times. As this fruit also serves these poor 
creatures for drink, they have less occasion for water than if they were to 
live on more substantial food." It is no wonder therefore that the Israel- 
ites, who in heart forsook their God, should have murmured for lack of 
these in the burning, parched Wilderness. Watermelons also form a part 
of the provisions essentially necessary to the comfort and health of the mil- 
itary in their encampments in the hot Eastern countries ; Mr. Jackson, in 
his Journeg overland from Indian soon after having fallen in with a Turk- 
ish encampment on the river Tigris, not far from Bagdad, met several ^i- 
riiffes laden with refreshments for the Turkish army ; the car^o of one of 
them consisting entirely of -watermelons. P. 85. Edit. 

f 2 Kings vi. 25. \ Boehart has taken a great deal of pains to support 

this notion, thoagh by no means with equal success. 


tboiigh it can hardly be imagined, it was bought direclij 
for food, it might be bought for the purpose of more 
speedily raising a supply of certain esculent vegetables, 
and in greater quantities, which must have been a matter 
of great consequence to the Israelites, shut up so straitly 
in Samaria. 

Had the kali of the Scriptures been meant, how came 
it to pass that the common word was not made use of? Jo- 
sephus and the Septuagint suppose that proper doves dung 
was meant, and the following considerations may make 
their sentiment appear far from improbable. 

All allow that melons are a most refreshing food, in 
those hot countries. And Chardin says, "melons are 
served up at the tables of the luxurious almost all the 
year; but the proper season lasts four months, at which 
time they are eaten by the common people. They hard- 
ly eat any thin^^ but melons and cucumbers at that time." 
He adds, " that during these four melon months, they are 
brought in such quantities to Ispahan, that he believed 
more were eaten in that city in one day, than in all France 
in a month."* 

On the other hand, he tells us, in another volume, that 
they have a mullitude of dovehouses in Persia, which they 
keep up more for their dung than any thing else. This 
being the substance with which they manure their melon 
t)eds, and which makes them so good and so large.f 

Now if melons were half so much in request in those 
daysj in Judea, as they are now in Persia, it might be 
natural enough to express the great scarcily of provisions 
there, by observing an ass's bead, which, according te 
their law was an unclean animal, sold for fourscore pieces 
of silver ; and a small quantity of that dung that was most 
useful to quicken vegetation, as well as to increase those 
productions of the earth which were so desirable in those 
hot climates, that a small quantity, I say, of that substance 

♦ Voyages, tome ii. p. 19. f Tome :ii. p. 91. 

1^ JMamj generations aftec the time of Moses and the spies. 


should, in such circurasfances, be sold for five such pieces. 
At least it is probable thus the Septuagint and Josephus 
understood the passage, if we should think it incredible 
that melons were in very common use in the days of Jo- 
lam king of Israel. Josephus, in particular, says this 
dung was purchased for its salt, which can hardly mean 
to be used, by means of some preparation, as table salt, 
but as containing salt proper for manuring the earth. The 
Prophet Elisha, in that very age, put salt into a spring of 
water, to express the imparting to it the quality of making 
the land watered by it, fruitful, which land had been before 
barren, 2 Kings ii. 19 — 22, to which event Josephus could 
be no stranger. 

It has been objected to this interpretation : that the doves 
dung was (or manure, for this interpretation is not a new 
one, but wanted to be better illustrated, that there could be 
no room for growing any kind of vegetable food within the 
walls of a royal city, when besieged ; but has any one a 
right to take this for granted ? when it is known that there 
is a good deal of ground unbuilt upon no/y in the royal 
cities of the East ; that Naboth had a vineyard in Jezreel,^ 
a place of royal residence a few years before ; that Sama- 
ria was a new built city ;f and that in the time of distress, 
every void place might naturally be made use of to raise 
a species of food, that with due cultivation, in our climate, 
is brought to perfection, from the time of its sowing, in 
four months, and at the same time is highly refreshing. 
When we reflect on these things, the supposition appears 
not at all improbable. 

We do not know when the siege commenced, or how 
long it continued ; that of Jerusalem in the time of Zede- 
kiah, lasted a year and a half ;J but the time that this 
dung was purchased at so dear a rate, we may believe 
was early in the spring, for then they begin to raise mel- 
ons at Aleppo, and as they were then so oppressed with 
want, iris probable that it was not long after that they were 

* 1 Kings 5xi. 1. t Oh. xvi. 24. i S KinS« xxr. 1. 


This explanation will appear less improbable, if we rec- 
ollect the account already given, of the siege of Darnietta, 
where some of the moie delicate Egyptians pined to 
death, according to Vitriaco, though they had a snflScien- 
cy of corn, for the want of the food they were used to, 
pompions, &.c. The Israelites might be willing then, had 
their stones been more abundant than they were found to 
have been, to add what they could to them, and especial- 
ly of such grateful eatables, as melons, and such like. 



They that are acquainted with the Greek and Roman 
Classics, and particularly with Horace, know how com- 
mon it was with them to unite the fragrancy of flowers 
and sweet scented leaves with the pleasures of wine; but 
they may not be so sensible, that it has been practised by 
the Eastern nations too : they may, possibly, have sup- 
posed that they made such a free use of artificial per- 
fumes, as to cause these natural vegetable odours to be 

But a passage in the apocryplial author of the Wisdom 
of Solomon, who was undoubtedly an Eastern writer, 
shows the contrary : Let us fill ourselves 7»ith costly wine 
and ointments : and let no flower of the spring pass by 
tis. Let us crown oitrstlves with rosebuds before they be 
withered, Ch. ii. 7, 8. 

Here, instead of citing any passage from Western wri- 
ters, I would set down the following passage from d'Her- 
belot : " Kessai one day presented himself at the door of 
the apartment of AI Mamon,* to read one of his lectures. 
The prince, who was then at table with his companions, 
wrote him a distich, upon a leaf of myrtle, the sense of 

* Thesoa of the then rei£;DiDg kbalitf} the celebrated Harouu al Rascheed 


which was, There is a time for study, and a time for di- 
version : this is a time I have destined for the enjoyment 
of friends, wine, roses, and inyrlle. Kessai ha\ing read 
this distich, answered it upon the back of the same n;yrlle 
leaf, in four lines, the meaning of them as follows. If you 
had understood the excellence of knowledge, you would, 
without doubt, have preferred the pleasure ihat gives, to 
what you at present enjoy in con pany : and if you knew 
who it is that is at your door, you would immediately 
rise, and come and prostrate yourself on the ground, 
praising and thanking God for the favour he had bestow- 
ed upon you. Al Mamon had no sooner read these verses, 
than he quitted his company, and came to his preceptor."^ 

Here we see the rose and the myrtle made use of in a 
princely drinking bout. 

In like manner one of the volumes of the Arabian 
Night Entertainments, mentions myrtles, sweet basil, 
lilies, and jasmine, and other pleasant^o/yej's and plants, 
as purchased in the time of a grand entertainment, in the 
days of the same khaliff, Haroun al Rascheed, along with 
wine, meat, various kinds of fruit, and confections.f 

* P. 961, art. Kessai. f Vol. i. No. 28. 

The Persian poets are fuU of similar passages. So Hafiz, in the llth 
ode, in the letter -i^wn, 

** O cup bearer ! bring tviiie, for tlie season ot" the rose is come." 
And again, 

**I have j^oifers in my bosom, -wine in my hand, and my friend obsequious 

to my desires." 
And again, in almost Horatlan strains, 

^ (jjUtJf jT^ i^l^ ci,s^ 

«* Call for ivine, and scatter roses around." 
But examples of this kind are endless, even in this poet. See Deevani 
Hafiz passim, and the examples in Sir William Jones's I'ersian Grammar. 

TOL. II. 3 


This confirms the propriety of the apocryphal account 
in general, but unhickily gives no illustration to the spring 
flowers which he mentions, roses not being p operly de- 
scribed as early flowers, they with us in England belong- 
ing to the nsiddle of the summer, and lilies and jasmine 
being conteojporary with the rose, or nearly so. Bui 
it is to be remembered, that roses flower in April in Ju~ 
dea, and consequently jasmine, &c. 

What is more, among the \egetable ornaments worn by 
the Aleppine ladies on their heads, we find much earlier 
flowers made use of. Narcissuses, violets, and hyacinths, 
which Dr. Russell tells us, blossom in the East \ery ear- 
ly in the spring;* and are used by the women to deco- 
rate their headdress, along with many other flowers 
which he mentions,-)- some of them late blowers. And 
such very early flowers might be in use among the gay 
people of the Jewish nation in their drinking bouts, and 
this writer might design to point out the continuation of 
these joyous assemblies, using the earliest flowers of the 
spring, with the rosebuds of summer, in their diSereiU 



The burning of perfumes is practised now in the East 
in the times of feasting and joy, and there is reason to be- 
lieve the same usage obtained anciently in those countries. 

Niebuhr, in the first volume of his Travels, giving an 
account of the observation of a Mohammedan festival call- 
ed Arnfciy or Kurban, and taking notice that it lasts two 
or three days, and that the peasants during that time 
bring nothing to the market, so that every one is obliged 
to get on the vigil of the feast all the proper provisions 
for it, goes on to inform his readers, J that they bought for 

* Vol. i. p. 70. t See vol. i. p. 106, 252, 

^ P. 307. Voy. en Arabia, et en d'autres pays circonvoisins. 


their MobaQimedan domestics, flour, sugar, and honey, for 
the making of cakes, as also a sheep; they were even 
provided with kaad.* Then, after giving a further ac- 
count of the piiblic manner of celebrating the festival, 
with a solemn procession and miiifarj exercises, he adds, 
"After which every one returned home, feasted, chewed 
kaad, burnt fragrant substances in his house, stretched 
himself at length on his sofa, and lighted his kiddre, or 
long pipe, with the greatest satisfaction. "f 

That the same obtained anciently among those in af- 
fluent circumstances, at least in times when they partic- 
ularly enjoyed themselves, appears, I think, from the 16th 
of Ezekiel, ver. 13, 15, 18, 19. This wast thou decked 
with gold and silver, and thy raiment was of fine linen, 
and silk, and broidered work ; thou didst eat fine fiour, 
andhonei/, and oil : and thou wast exceeding beautiful, 
and thou didst prosper into a kingdom. But thou didst 
trust in thine own beauty, and playedst the harlot, and 
tookest thy broidered garments, and coveredst them, 
thine idols: and thou hast set mine oil, and mine incense 
before them. My meat also which I gave thee, fine flour, 
and oil, and honey, wherewith I fed thee, thou hast even 
set it before them for a sweet savour : and thus it was 
saith the Lord God. 

Here we see honey and oil, along with fine flour, used 
by this lady in her prosperity, as was prepared for their 
Mohammedan domestics in a time of Arabian rejoicing; 
and she is upbraided with giving to her idols what God 
had bestowed upon her for her own use and satisfaction, 
broidered garments, lamps of oil, and incense, as well as 
meat, fine flour, oil, and honey. 

* This is a vegetable production the Arabians are very fond of chewing 
He describes it in p. 299, where he tells us, they are young shoots of a tree, 
which the Arabians chew, as the Indians do their betel. He found them, 
placed in little bundles on the sofa of the Dola of Taas, but !ie remarks 
that he could not relish this Arabian delicacy. 

t P. 308, 




Hassel^uist takes notice of what appears to us an odd 
custom in Egjpt, which he supposes is very ancient, 
though he does not apply it to the illustralion of any pas- 
sage of kScriptuie ; it seems, however, to be referred to by 
Solomon in the book of Proverbs. 

He saw, he says, a number of women, who went about 
inviting people to a banquet, in a singular, and, without 
doubt, very ancient manner. They were about ten or 
twelve, cohered with black veils, as is customary in that 
country. They were preceded by four eunuchs: after 
them and on the side, were Moors with their usual walk- 
ing staves. As they were walking, they all joined in 
making a noise, which he was told signified their joy, but 
which he could not find resembled a joyful or pleasing 
song. The sound was so singular, as that he found him^ 
self at a loss to give an idea of it to those that never heard 
it. It was shrill, but had a particular quavering, which 
they learnt by long practice.* 

The passage in Proverbs, which seems to allude to this 
practice, is the beginning of the ninth chapter: Wisdom 
hath killed her beasts ; she hath mingled her wine; she 
hath aho furnished her table. She hath sent forth her 
maidens: she crieth upon the highest places of the city. 
Whoso is simple let him turn in hither : as for him that 
wanteth understanding, she saith to him, Come, eat of 
my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled. 

Here the reader observes, that the invitation is suppos- 
ed to be made by more than one person; that they were 
of the female sex that were employed in the service; and 
that the invitation is supposed not to have been, as among 
us, a private message, but open to the notice of all. 

*r. 56. 


Whether it was with a singing tone of voice, as now in 
E^vpt, does not, detenninately at least, appear by the 
Word here made use of, and whic'i is translated crieth : ^!ihe 
crletlij by her maidens, upon the highest places of the city,^ 
It may not be improper lo add, that though the Eastern 
people now eat out of the dishes oftentitnes, which are 
broiJi;;hl in singly, and follow one another with great ra- 
pidily, not out of plates,-)- yet many lesser appendages are 
placed round about the table by way of preparation, 
which seems to be what is meant by the expression, s/te 
hath also furnished her table ;% in one word, all things 
were then ready \\ and the more distant kinds of prepara- 
tion had been followed by the nearer, till every thing was 
ready, so as that the repast might immediately begin. 
The cattle were killed, the jars of wine emptied into drink- 
ing vessels, and the little attendants on the great dishes 
placed on the table. 



The heat of the countries of the East is so great, that 
their inhabitants take great pleasure in repairing to places 

* The Uomans in the East, it seems, from the term made use of by St. 
Matthew, ch. xxii ■2, sent their invitations by menservants ; not tvomen, as 
is the modern Egyptian practice; and, according to bt. Luke, ch. xiv. IT, 
only one messenger, instead of many. 

I Chandler, Uussell, &c. 
4: A piece of red cloth, cut in a round form, is spread upon the divan, 
under the table, to prevent that from being soiled ; and a long piece of silk 
stuff is laid round, to cover the knees of such as sit at table, which has no 
covering but the victuals. Pickles, salads, small basins of leban, bread, and 
spoons, are disposed in proper order round the edges. The middle is for 
the dishes, which, among the great people, are brought in one by one; 
and after each person lias eaten a little, they are changed. Russell, vol. i. 
p. 172. 

i) Luke xiv. 17, where the expression may be understood after the same 


of shade, water, and verdure, to take a joyous repast 
there; and parliculaily at the times of their religious re- 

"To fountains, or rivers," Dr. Chandler tells us, in his 
travels, " the Turks and the Greeks frequently repair for 
refreshment ; especially the latter, on their festivals, when 
whole families are seen sitting on the grass, and enjoying 
their early or evening repast, beneath the trees, by the side 
of a rill."* 

Nor are they always cold collations on these occasions, 
for speaking of a Greek solemnity, which they called a 
panegyris, or general assembly, to which nien and boys, 
women with infants, and persons decrepit from old age, 
repaired, he goes on to tell us: "It is the custom of the 
Greeks, on these days, after fulfilling their religious 
duties, to indulge in festivity. Two of their musicians, 
seeing us sitting under a shady tree, where we had dined, 
came and played before us. After satisfying them, we 
went up to the place, at which the Greeks were assem- 
bled. We were told it was a place of great sanctity. 
The multitude was sitting under half tents, with store of 
melons and grapes, besides Iambs and sheep to be killed, 
wine in gourds and skins, and other necessary provisions." 
P. 44. 

I do not know that the feast made by Adonijah pre- 
tended to have any connection with religion, but in other 
respects it was like these modern entertainments : it was 
held near a well, or fountain of water, and there he slew 
sheep, and oxen, and fat cattle, and called his brethren, 
and the principal people of the kingdom to the entertain- 
ment, 1 Kings i. 9. It was not chosen for secresy, for it 
was in the neighbourhood of the royal city,f but for 

* Travels in Asia Minor, p. 21. 

•j- 1 cannot suppose the feast was held here for secresy^ though I am aware 
that En Uogel was the place, in which two of the fast friends of King Da- 
vid had lain hid some time before : but it might be easy for two persons to 
lie concealed among trees and bushes by a fountain, when numbers could 
not ; especially in holding a solemn feast. 


pleasantness ; it was not a magnificent cold collation, the 
animals, on the contrary, on which thej feasted, were 
killed and dressed on the spot, for this princely repast. 
This last circumstance would appear very strange in a 
fde champetre of this country, but is perfectly in the 
modern Oiienlal taste. 

There have been such alterations made in the neigh- 
bourhood of Jerusalem, in the course of such a number 
of cenuiries, that we cannot pretend to judge, from what 
now remains, whether this entertainment was held under 
slight tenls, or merely under the shade of the trees that 
grew there. The modern Eastern people make use of both 
methods, as circumstances direct ; but probably would 
choose the protection of a shady tree, rather than of a 
tent, if it might as easily be had. 

Probably Isaiah refers to a practice of this sort, in 
those words of his 49(h chapter: That thou mayest say 
to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darknesSy 
shew yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and 
their pastures shall be in all high places. They shall 
not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat or sun 
smite them : for he that hath mercy on them, shall lead 
them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them* 
And I will make all my mountains a way, and my high- 
ways shall be exalted,^ 

The thoughts of many people have been turned, I im* 
agine, to the feeding of cattle by the wayside, and gather- 
ing their food on the hills, which Dr. Shaw informs us 
are the places most proper, in those countries, for the pas- 
turing of cattle, on account of the springs of excellent wa- 
ter there, too much wanted, especially in the summer sea- 
son, not only in the plains of Ihe Holy Land, but of other 
countries in the same climate.f But it seems a more 
natural and easy interpretation, to understand the words 
of such pleasurable excursions, usual now in the East, and 
aiade use of in ancient times also. >So a princess is rep- 

• Is. xlix. 9, 10, U. t p. 240. 


resented in a sacred song as saying, Come, my beloved, let 
us go forth into the field : let lis lodgre in the villages, 
let us get up early to the vineyard. Sec. Sol. Song, vii. 

Thus Ihe contrast will appear quite natural, as well as 
livelj, in this passage of Isaiah, between shut up in pris- 
on, secluded from fresh air, and even the light itself, in 
unwholesome dungeons; and walking at liberty, enjoying 
the verdure, and the enlivening air of the country : passing 
from the tears, the groans, and the apprehensions of such 
a dismal confinemenf ; to the music, the songs, and the 
exquisite repasts of Eastern parties of pleasure. 

It is readily acknowledged, that there is a harshness 
and roughness in some other images made use of by poets, 
that lived many ages ago, and in countries whose concep- 
tions, as well as manners, so widely differ from ours; but 
there is no occasion to prefer such explanations, when 
others offer themselves that are as easy and natural, and 
at the same time give a view of such contrasted matters, 
as is by much the most lively and affecting. 

I would only further add, that there is no occasion to 
translate the original word by the English term pastures, 
which is appropriated to the places where cattle eat ; the 
original words are of a much more general nature, andmaj 
be translated: "They shall take their repasts in the 
ways, and their eating places shall be in all eminences," 
as the people of those countries, at this day, enjoy them- 
Belves, when on a party of pleasure, sitting at their colla- 
tions under shady trees by the highway side ; and near 
their springs of water, which most abound, as well as their 
trees, on their hills, accor<ling to Dr. Shaw. And answer- 
able to the delicacy, as well as the plenty of what is pro- 
vided for these joyous excursions, and also to the nature 
of their hills, the Prophet goes on, They shall not hunger 
nor thirst, neither shall the heat or sun smite them, the 
suffocating hot winds which blow in their deserts ; nor the 
fierce, and eometimes deadly rays of the uiidday sun, to 


which some have been exposed : for he that hath mercy 
on them shall lead theniy even by the springs of water shall 
he guide them. 

Neither were thej to be indulged only in such pleasing 
excursions in the land of their captivity, being brought 
out of prison, as one of the Jewish princes was by Evil- 
merodach,^ king of Babylon, who not only brought him 
out of prison, but turned his sorrows into a state of conso- 
lation, setting his throne above the throne of the other 
kings that were wilh him in Babylon ; but Isaiah in the 
nest verse, turns the thoughts of those that heard his pre- 
dictions, from these short excursions of pleasure to the 
more exquisite joy of returning to their own land. 

Nor is it altogether improbable, that the Psalmistf might 
refer to such amusing little journies of the Jews in the 
land of their captivity, when he says, By the rivers of 
Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept when we re- 
membered Zion. We hanged our harps vpon the willows 
in the midst thereof. The sitting by the waters, and still 
more the mention of their harps, strongly inclines the mind 
to this conception: and the supposed contrast between 
the original design of these assemblings, and the mourn- 
ings into which they were in fact thrown, when they were 
led to remember Zion, would give a beauty and life to this 
passage, which otherwise do not appear. 

Other travellers, as well as Dr. Chandler, mention their 
having music in these excursions, and the Doctor tells us, 
that he found the shepherds, that watched their sheep in 
a mountain to which he accidently went, hung the things 
they wanted to make use of on a tree; so that the circum- 
stance of hanging their harps on the willows that grew by 
the rivers of Babylon was quite natural, when the remem- 
brance of the sonffs of the Temple made them burst into 
tears, and turned the intended merrymeeting into a scene 
of lamentation and wailing. 

"* Jer. lii. 31, 32. t ^6. oxx;5:viJ. 1—?. 

voii. n. 4 


It is no objection to this, that the Jews were in a state 
of capli'. itj in Babylon, for though some of their priucipaJ 
people might be kept in prison, and treated with harshness, 
yet I he Prophet Jeremiah supposed numbers of them would 
be sufBciently at their ease, to admit the supposing they 
might go from time to time to shady places, near their 
rivers, to take a joyous repast. For in a prophetic letter 
which he wrote to the Jews in Babylon, he assured them 
they should obtain considerable degrees of favour in the 
land of their captivity ; Thus saith the Lord of Hosts, 
the God of Israel, unto all that are carried away cap- 
tives , whom I have caused to be carried away from Je- 
rusalem unto Babylon ; Build ye houses, and dwell in 
them: and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them. 
Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters r and take 
wives for your sons, and give your daughters to hus- 
bands, that they may bear sons and daughters: that ye 
may be increased there, and not diminished. And seek 
the peace of the city, whither I have caused you to be car- 
ried away captives, and pray unto the Lord /or it: For 
in the peace thereof shall ye have peace. Jer. xxix. 

And though the Jewish law was understood to forbid 
their associating with those of another nation, yet these 
repasts being held by the waysides, by fountains or rivers, 
nun)bers of the people of Babylon, passing by, might stop 
to hear the music, and might very naturally be understood 
to say, Sing us one of the songs of Sion, curious to hear 
what kind of melody had been made use of in the Temple. 
The word translated required, does not signify an autho- 
ritative order, but merely asking them in a manner con- 
sistent with friendliness and even complaisance. Galled, 
however, with such a request, they put an end to their 
music as soon as they well could, and hung their harps on 
the trees under which they sat. 




The people of these countries not only enjoy them- 
selves in forming parties of pleasure, which repose fhem- 
selves under trees in warm weather, indulging themselves 
in eating and drinking there; but they frequently invite 
passengers to partake with them in their repasts. The 
Prophet Zechariah seems to refer to these invitations in 
the close of his third chapter. In that day, saith the 
Lord of Hosts, shall ye call every man his neighbour 
under the vine, and under the fig tree. 

The words, in themselves, might be thought indeter- 
minate, and it might be queried, whetlier they signified, 
that every one should call to his neighbours, who were 
sitting under trees for enjoyment and repast ; or whether 
they signified, that every one that was sitting under such 
trees should call to those that passed by, to come and par- 
take with them in their pleasures. But the usages of those 
countries lead us to apprehend, the last is the sense of the 
Prophet, and the words are capable of that construction. 

Thus Dr. Richard Chandler, in his Travels in Asia 
Minor, tells us,^ That a Greek at Philadelphia sent 
them a small earthen vessel full of choice wine ; and that 
some families, who were sitting beneath some trees, by a 
rill of water, invited them to alight, and partake of their 

The taking their repasts thus in public expressed safe- 
ty and pleasure ; and the calling to passengers to partake 
with them, a spirit of friendliness and generosity. A state 
very contrary to that in which Israel had some little time 
before found themselves: Son of man, said God to Ezek- 
iel, I will break the staff of bread in Jerusalem, and they 
nhall eat bread by weight, and with care, and they shalf 

* P. 250; 


drink wafer by measure, and with astonishment, Ezek. 
iv. 16, ir. And again, ch. xii. 18, Son of mant eat thy 
Jjread with quaking^ and drink thy water with trembling, 
and with carefulness ; and say tinto thejoeople of the land. 
Thus saith the Lord God, of the inhabitants of Jerusa- 
lem, and of the land of Israel, They shall eat their bread 
with carefulness, and drink their water with astonish- 
ment, that her land may be desolate from all that is there- 
in, because of the violence of them that dwell therein. 

The half starved Arabs of the Desert, without cere- 
mony, sit down to eat with any that thej happen to see 
taking their repasts ; so the author of the Travels of 
Egmont and Hejman tells us, that when they were within 
an hour and a half of the convent of Mount Sinai, the 
Arabians of the neighbourhood came to congratulate them 
on their arrival, and, according to the custom of the 
country, set down by them, for whenever they see any 
eating or drinking, they join the company without the 
least ceremony.^ 

However dubious then the words of themselves may 
be, grammatically considered, they cannot well be under- 
stood as signifying every one's calling to, or addressing 
those that sat under trees taking their repast, since that, 
as in the case of the wild Arabs, would express want; 
but as expressing the liberality with which Israel, on 
their return, should invite all that came into their view, 
to share with them in the bounties of Providence, and 
the safety as well as plenty with which they should be 



Plutarch observes, that the Greeks frequently, for 
pleasure, took a repast on the seashore ; and M. Doubdan 
has mentioned, his finding some of the inhabitants of the 

* Vol. ii. p. 155. 


confines of the Holy Land enjoying themselves, in like 
manner, near the sea, eating and smoking there: which 
accounts, especially when put together, may give us the 
most exact view, of what passed between our Lord and 
the disciples on the shore of the sea of Galilee, of which 
St, John has given us the history in the last chapter of his 

Tlie substance of what Plutarch says is as follows : 
What do they mean, who inviting one another to form a 
party of pleasure, say. Let us eat to day on the seashore? 
Do not they show that they consider an entertainment on 
the seashore as the most delightful? Certainly not on 
account of the waves and the pebbles there, but because 
they have the best opportunity of furnishing their table 
with plenty offish, perfectly fresh.* 

To this I would subjoin the account Doubdan gives, 
of what happened to him in a short voyage from St. John 
d*Acre to Sidon. They hired a fishingboat for this 
voyage : through the indolence of the seamen, who 
would not row, they got no further than Tyre that night. 
In the morning, not being, as when they went to Jerusa- 
lem, in a boat, whose proper business it was to carry pas- 
sengers, but at the mercy of four or five fishermen, who 
did nothing but cast their nets into the sea, m.ost commonly 
without success, exposed to the burning heat of the sun 
by day, and severe cold in the night, they employed a 
poor Jew, who was with them in the bark, and who could 
speak a little of the language used by the Franks in ihat 
country, to call upon them to push forward, that they 
might arrive in good time at Sidon. But contrary to 
their agreement, they immediately cast their nets into the 
sea, to procure themselves a dinner. Then they landed 
to dress their fish, and to eat it, after which they slept 
for more than two hours, while Doubdan, and those with 
him, were broiling with the scorching sun overhead, and 
the heated rocks underneath. Being put out again to sea, 

• Symposinc. lib. iy. probl. ir. 


upon the promise of an augmentation of their pay, (hej 
took up their oars, and rowed with briskness, for four or 
five miles, in order to reach Sidon, that same day. 
Thej then grew tired, and being inclined to return to 
their fishing, they put Doubdan and his companions on 
shore, where there was a very large and deep cavern, 
which had been hollowed by the violence of the waves, 
which enter it with fury upon the least wind that blows, 
and immediately applied themselves to cook some small fish 
with some rice, and, without speaking one word to Doub- 
dan, carried all on board the bark, and went away toward 
the place from whence they came, so that they lost sight 
of them in a few moments. This unexpected accident 
extremely astonished them, and what was worse, there 
were many Turks, Moors, and Arabs, of a variety of 
colours, in this cavern, of whom some were reclined on 
Ihe sand, enjoying the fresh air; some were dressing 
provisions among these rocks; others were smoking 
tobacco; notwithstanding the apparent danger of the 
fall of great pieces of the rocks, which frequently hap- 
pened: but it is common for them to retire hither, on ac- 
count of a spring of fine water which glides along here, 
and is extremely cool.^ 

On these accounts I would make some remarks. 

1st. That the Greeks were wont, not unfrequently, to 
eat a repast on the seashore; and that the Syrians, in the 
neighbourhood of the Holy Land, are wont to do the 
same, and people too that dwell in Syria of very different 
2>ations: Turks, Moors, and Arabs. 

2dly. That whatever other delicacies the Greeks 
might carry with them, on occasion of these parties of 
pleasure, they were wont to make use of that opportuni- 
ty, to regale themselves on the fresh fish that happened 
to be caught, or brought to shore, while they were there. 
And by what is said of these fishermen, the Syrians too 
are very fond of fish ; as it appears, from the words of oar 

* Voy. de la Terre Sainte, ch. 61. 


Lord, the Jews of that time were: IJ a son shall ask 
bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a 
stone ? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a 
serpents. ... Jf ye then, being evil, know how to give 
good gifts unto your children, how much more,^ &.c. 

3dlj. When the Eastern fisheraien are disposed to eat, 
it seems they frequently eat some of their own fish which 
they have caught ; but that they are wont to land in or- 
der to dress it, whereas our fishermen dress their food on 
board their vessels, at least generally. 

In what light then, afler making these remarks, must 
our Lord's visit to the Apostles appear, which is record- 
ed in the beginning of the 21st of John ? 

If they first saw a man on the seashore, whom they 
did not immediately know, who appearing near a fire, 
asked them if they had caught any fish ; t\^s it not natu- 
ral for them to suppose it was somebody who was a Strang, 
er to them, who was come to the seashore to enjoy the 
freshness of the air, and to regale himself with some new 
caught fish there? If so, the word children,-f which he 
made use of, is to be understood as a familiar term made 
use of by a supposed superior to an inferior, and fisher- 
men were looked upon as being of a very low profession. 

There was nothing so particular in his being alone, and 
unattended by servants, as to fix their attention and lead 
them to suspect something extraordinary in this. He 
might affect something of solitude, or expect company to 
join him, or he might be a traveller, for any thing they 
knew, who might choose to take his repast on the shore, 
as companies of people did in excursions of pleasure. 
There were two travellers indeed that are described as 
regaling themselves by the side of the Tigris, on a fish 
newly caught, and which they roasted or broiled on some 
coals, of which mention is made in the book of Tobit ;J 

* Lukexi. H, U. 

f Children, have you any meat ? The word does not mean flesh latai, 
but have you caught any fish pioper for eating ? t Ch. yi. 3, 5. 


but Jacob travelled all alone, when he went into Mesopo- 
tamia. They might then take him to be some traveller ; 
or thej might look upon him (o be one belonging to a par- 
ty of pleasure, sent beforehand to prepare matters for the 
rest that were to follow in due time; or one that, though 
nnaccompanied, was resolved to enjoy the pleasures of 
the seaside. 

There appeared nothing extraordinary in his directing 
to throw the net on the right side of the ship, it being no 
unusual thing for people on shore to make signals to fish- 
ing vessels, pointing out to them the way the shoals of 
fish are taken. Nor was it their taking fish, in conse- 
quence of the direction that our Lord gave them, that oc- 
casioned their apprehending it was he himself, but the as- 
tonishing number of large fishes they had enclosed in 
their net, which first occasioned John to apprehend it was 

Rocky eminences are frequently met with on the sea- 
shore, from whence there is a view to the seaward pretty 
extensive : there were such prominences on the shore on 
which the fishermen landed Doubdan, and where he found 
Moors and Arabs enjoying themselves, and which rocks 
Doubdan ascended when these Moors and Arabs began 
to look sourly upon them, from whence they descried their 
ship, and called to the people aboard to take them in ;^ 
and such there might be on this part of the shore of the 
sea of Gennesereth. 

Nor will it occasion any great difference, if we should 
range these two circumstances in the contrary way : if we 
should suppose :hey first saw our Lord on some eminence 
by the seaside; and afterward, as they approached the 
land, in consequence of their success, saw a fire burning 
on the shore, and bread laid there, as if some person in- 
tended to regale himself. 

It is neither necessary to suppose that the Oj/«^/ov that 
the disciples saw, along with the bread, on the shore, was 

* Voy. de la Terre Sainte, p. 543. 


a fish, or that it lay upon the coals. Plutarch, in the 
place before cited, observed that there were various kinds 
of things that came under that Greek term, though fish 
was considered as the best sort. It might mean some 
other kind of delicious associate with bread : what in par- 
ticular the Evangelist did not intend to express, nor can 
we know. On another occasion, the disciples gave our 
Lord a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.* 
The honeycomb was one kind of O\j/a^/ov, then used, 
and might now be laid on the shore, for aught we know to 
the contrary. 

For the word S7r<5tg<usvcv, in the 9th verse, does not, I 
think, necessarily imply that the thing, whatever it was, 
lay upon the coals : it is sufficient if it lay not far from 
them. But whatever it was, and if we suppose actually 
lay upon the coals, it seems to me not very natural to un- 
derstand the word as signifying afish ; for how odd must 
it appear to them, to have this person ask for fish, when 
he, at that very time had fish broiling on the coals. It 
appears to signify some other sort of provision, of a kind 
to be eaten with bread. 

An instance of an unnecessary limiting the meaning of 
words may be observed as to this very term : our trans- 
lators here unnecessarily, and I think improperly, limit 
the meaning of the term \o fishy when it appears to signify 
any proper adjunct to bread, at least of the delicious kind ; 
and in the translation of John vi. 9, they limit the sense 
still more, and suppose the word signifies little fishes, 
when the historian says nothing of the sj'%ie, nor would it 
lose the glory of being a miraculous repast, when five bar- 
ley loaves and two fishes, sufficed to feed five thousand 
people, and the fragments afterward filled twelve baskets, 
though we should suppose they were two karnmds, or 
two of the bonni species; two kinds of fish which are 
found in the sea of Tiberias, and which are said to weigh 
near thirty pounds each. However, they certainly were 

* Luke xxiv. 4^ 
TOIi. II. 5 


nof so large, as they were brought thither for sale by c 
little lad, according to the import of the Greek word made 
use of there, though they might not be what we call small 

When the nets were drawn on shore, he that called to 
them to know whether they had caught any thing, order- 
ed them to bring some of the iSsh to him, for his use, 
which, as he appeared as a stranger, we are to suppose 
was done in conseqcience of a purchase made of them; 
he then immediately applied himself to, Ihe preparing 
them for eating, while they were busied in clearing the 
net, and when the fish were broiled; and they began to be 
a little at leisure, he said to them, Come and dine, vcr„ 
12, or take some refreshment after your toil this morning. 
This is quite in the present Arab taste, the Arabs inviting 
strangers to eat with them, and even those of figure ask- 
ing people in very low life. Our Lord Jesus here ex- 
pressed the same kind of generosity, mingled with humil- 
ity : he all the while claiming no knowledge of them, nor 
they of him. 

Had he not asked them to eat with him, they soon of 
course would have prepared for themselves: they had 
plenty of provisions ; they were come to the shore, to which 
we find, by Doubdan, the fishermen of that country are 
wont to repair, when they are disposed to dress the fisb 
they catch, and they had made a very abundant capture, 
and wanted not immediately to return to their fishings 
But this stranger, by his generosity, made such care un- 
necessary on their part, having got a fire ready, and pre- 
pared bread : nothing v/as wanted, but the broiling the 

When It is said, v. 4, Tke disciples knew not that it 
was Jesus, it means that they did not know at first siaht^ 
upon seeing him standing; on the shore: when it is said, 
V. }2, None of the disciples durst ask, who art thou ? 
knowing it rvas the Lord, it expresses their not being all 
perfectly satisfied it was their Lord, at the time of his 


inviting them to come and eat with him, while yet it was 
nnlawful for a Jew to eat with one of another nation, =^ and 
there was a mixture of Gentiles among them, particularly 
in Galilee,f yet they were apprehensive it might be Je- 
sus, that none dared to express so much doubt of it as to 
ask the question : but when he came to take bread, and 
to give it to !hem, the like circumstance as caused the two 
disciples at Emmaus to recognise their Lord, J it is natu- 
ral to suppose, produced the same effect in them here; 
and if there had beeathe least shadow of a doubt that re- 
mained, it must have been removed by the manner of his 
addressing Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me 
more than these ? He said unto him, Yea^ Lord, tho^i 
knowest that I love thee. He said unto him, Feed my 
lambs, 8rc. Accordingly, however unapprehensive they 
were of its being their Lord at first, St. John gives it as 
a fact of which they were fully assured before our Lord 

I will only add, that by the story of Doubdan it appears, 
that the Eastern fishermen are disposed to put ashore, 
and eat fish early in the day, as well as toward evening. 




Our version of Genesis xxxi. 46, represents Jacob's 
sitting, with his relations and friends, when he held a sol- 
emn feast, on a heap of stones :\\ one would be inclined to 
suspect the justness of the translation, as to this circum- 
stance, of the manner in which he treated his friends; 
but it is made less incredible, by the account Niebuhr 

* Acts X. 28, ch. xi. 3. t Called Galilee of the Gentiles, Matt. iv. 15. 
i Luke xxiv. 35. 

II ^nd Jacob said unto his brethren, Gather stones.- and they took stone.- 
end made an heap ; and they did eat there wo^ the heap. 


has given us, in the first volume of his travels, of the man- 
ner in which some of the nobles of the court of the Iman 
seated themselves, when he visited the prince at Sana of 
Arabia, his capital cify."^ 

It is certain the particle by, id, translated in this pas- 
sage upon, sometimes signifies near to, or something of 
that sort: so it is twice used in this sense, Gen.xvi. And 
the angel of the Ijohb found her by a fountain in the way 
to Shur, So Gen. xxiv. 13, Behold, I stand here by the 
well of water, and the daughter of the men of the city 
come out to draw water. The same may be observed in 
many other places of the book of Genesis. 

Consequentlj the sitting of Jacob and Laban, with their 
relations and friends, might be understood to have been 
only near the heap of stones, which was collected togeth- 
er upon this occasion, and designed for a memorial of 
present reconciliation, and reciprocal engagement to pre- 
serve peace and amitj in future times : but their actual 
sitting on this heap of stones may perhaps appear some- 
what less improbable, after reading the following passage 
of Niebuhr's travels, relating to his being admitted to an 
audience of the Iman of Yemen. 

" I had gone from my lodgings indisposed, and by stand- 
ing so long, found myself so faint, that I was obliged to 
ask permission to quit the room. I found near the door 
some of the principal officers of the court, who were sitting 
in a scattered manner, in the shade, upon stones, by the 
side of the wall. Among them was the nakib, the gener- 
al, or rather master of the horse, Gheir Allah, with whom 
I had some acquaintance before. He immediately resign- 
e.d his place to me, and applied himself to draw together 
stones into an heap, in order to build himself a new seat." 
This management to us appears very strange ; it might 
possibly be owing to the extreme heat of that time of the 
year in that country,f which made sitting on the ground 

"" P. 339. 
t The latter end of July. See also p. 271, where we have an acceunt of 
iheir not sitting on the ground, in another part of Arabia, which is a burn- 
ing sanil. 


very disagreeable ; it can hardly however be supposed 
that they sat upon the heap of stones that had been gath- 
ered together on Mount Gilead,* for this reason, since 
high grounds are cooler than those that lie low ;f since it 
was in spring time, when the heat is more moderate, for 
it was at the time of sheepshearing : J but it might be wet, 
and disagreeable sitting on the ground, especially as they 
were not furnished with sufl5cient number of carpets, pur- 
suing after Jacob in a great hurry ; and several countries 
furnishing stones so flat as to be capable of being formed 
into a pavement, or seat, not so uneasy as we may have 
imagined. Mount Gilead might be such a country. It 
might also be thought to tend more strongly to impress 
the mind, when this feast of reconciliation was eaten upon 
that very heap that was designed to be the lasting memo- 
rial of this renewed friendship. || 

As for the making use of heaps of stones for a memori- 
aly many are found to this day in these countries, and not 
merely by land, for they have been used for seamarks 
too : So Niebuhr, in the same volume, tells us of an heap 
of stones placed upon a rock in the Red Sea, which was 
designed to warn them that sailed thereof the danger of 
the place, that they might be upon their guard.§ 



SoNNiNi observes, "In many respects the Copts take 
their meals in the same manner as the Turks and Arabs. 
They are seated, with their legs across, round a table 
with one foot, in the shape of a large circular tea board, 
on which are placed the dishes, without either tablecloth, 

*Gcn.xxxi. 21. 

f This is a remark made by Niebuhr, over and over again, in this vol- 
«me of his travels, 

V Gen. sxxi. VJ. (1 Gen. xxxi, 48—52. § P. 208. 


plates, knives, or forks. They put the right hand iiitt^ 
the dishes, from vvhich they siiccessi\ely help themselves 
with their fingers, each according to his particular taste. 
The left hand, being destined for ablutions, is imcleany 
and must not touch their food. Sometimes they collect in 
one dish what they have taken from several, in order to 
form a mess, worked up in a big ball, which they convey 
to their very widely extended mouth. The poultry and 
the boiled meats are divided and pulled to pieces wilhthe 
hands and nails. The roast meats are served up in small 
bits, cut before they are put upon the spit ; and no where 
is better roast meat eaten than in Turkey. No conversa- 
tion is carried on at table : as they sit down at it only to 
eat, they lose no time, but swallow with the greatest pre- 
cipitation. They are not men assembled for the sake of 
enjoying the pleasure of society, but animals collected 
round their food by want and voracity. The grease runs 
down from each side of their mouth ; the stomach emits 
frequent eructations, which they prolong and render as 
noisy as they can. He whose hunger is soonest appeas- 
ed, rises first: and it is not considered as unmannerly to 
remain alone at table, if a person's appetite is not com- 
pletely satisfied." Edit. 



The grounds on which rice is sowed, are of three kinds, 
7vet land, or that watered artificially, and producing what 
are called wet crops, or grains, dry field, or that which 
receives no artificial supply of water, and which produces 
dry crops. 

The soil of the Ashla Gram, one of the villages near 
Sermgapatam, is considered as of four different kinds, 
the fertility of which is great according to the order in 


which they are enumerated. First, a very bhick soil, con- 
taining a large proportion of clay, and called Era, Crish' 
ncif or Miicutu, Secondly, a very red soij^ containing 
also a very large proportion of clay, and called Cahahy 
or kempii bumi. These two sometimes contain a few 
small pebbles, or loose rounded stones without injuring the 
quality of the land. Thirdly, Marulu is a light brown 
coloured soil, with a large proportion of sand. This also 
may contain loose nodules of stone without injury to its 
quality. Fourthly, Daray, which consists of much sandj 
and angular nodules of stone so compacted that the plough 
penetrates it with difficulty : to avoid circumlocution, I 
shall frequently use these native terms. 

The farmers of the Ashta Gram, have annually two 
crops on their wet grounds; one crop grows during the 
rainy season, and is called Hainii, and also the male crop, 
being supposed to be the stronger, the other crop is called 
Cam, and female, and grows in the dry season. The 
grounds are of course formed into terraces, quite level, 
and surrounded by little banks for the purpose of irriga- 
tion. The plots of watered grounds, owing to the con- 
siderable declivity of the country, are very contracted, 
and irregular in shape : but by means of small channels 
leading from the grand canals, or from reservoirs, they 
can, at the pleasure of the cultivator, be either fdled with 
water, or allowed to be dry. 

Throughout India there are three modes of sowing the 
seed of rice, from whence arise three kinds of cultivation. 
In the first mode, the seed is sown dry on the fields that 
are to rear it to maturity : this I call the dry seed cultiva- 
tion ; at Seringapatam it is called the Bara bidta, or 
Puneju In the second mode, the seed is made to vege-^ 
tate before it is sown ; and the field, when fitted to receive 
it, is reduced to a puddle : this I call the sprouted culti- 
vation; at Seringapatam, It is called the Molla butta. 
In the third kind of cultivation, the seed is sown very 
thick in a small plot of ground ; and when it has shot up 


to aboiit a foot high, the young rice is transplanted into 
the fields where it is to ripen : this I call the cultivation by 
transplanting ; the farmers of the Ashta Gram call it Nati, 

The Hainii cultivation of rice, being here the princi- 
pal crop, shall engage the chief part of our attention. 

The higher fields are cultivated after the dry seed 
manner of sowing ; the lower grounds are reserved for the 
sprouted and transplanted cvW'w^iion^. By far the most 
common seed used is the doda hutta^ a coarse grain, like 
that which, in Bengal, is by the English called cargo rice. 

In the Hainu crop the following is the management of 
the dry seed cultivation. During the months Phalguna, 
Chaitra, and Vaisakha, that is, from the 14th of Febru- 
ary till the 23d of May, plough twice a month ; having three 
days previous to the first ploughing in PhaJguna, softened 
the soil by giving the field water. 

After the fourth ploughing, the field must be manured 
with dung, procured either from the city or the cowhouse. 
After the fifth ploughing, the field must be watered, either 
by rain, or from the canal ; and three days afterward the 
seed must be sown broad cast, and then be covered by the 
sixth ploughing. And the rain, that happens to fall for 
the first thirty days after sowing the seed, must be allow- 
ed to run off by a breach in the bank which surrounds the 
field; and should much rain fall at this season, the crop is 
considerably injured. Should there have been no rain 
for the first thirty days, the field must be kept constantly 
inundated, till the crop be ripe; but if there have been 
occasional showers, the inundation should not commence 
till the 45th day. Weeding, and loosening the soil about 
the roots of the young plants with the hand, and placing 
them at proper distances, when sown too close, or too far 
apart, must be performed three times; first, on the forty- 
fifth or fiftieth day ; secondly, twenty days afterward ; and 
thirdly, fifteen days after the second weeding. These pe- 
riods refer to the crops that require seven months to ripen. 
In rice which ripens in five months and a half, the field 


must be inundated on the twenlielh daj ; and the weed- 
ings are on the twentieth, thirtielh, and forlielh daj s. 

In the Hainii crops the following is the manner of con- 
dncting the sprouted seed cultivation. The ploughing 
season occupies the month of Ashadhcty or from the 
twentysecond of June till the twenlysecond of July. 
During the whole of this lime, the field is inundated, 
and is ploughed four times ; while at each ploughing, 
it is turned over twice in two different directions, 
which cross each other at right angles. This I shall 
call a double ploughing. About the first of Scruva- 
7ia, twentysecond of July, the field is manured, immedi- 
ately gets a fifth ploughing, and the mud is smoothed by 
the labourer's feet. All the water, except one inch in 
depth, must then be let off, and the prepared seed must 
be sow^n broadcast. As it sinks in the mud, it requires no 
labour to cover it. For the first ttVentjfour days, the 
field must once every other day have some water, and 
must afterward, until ripe, be kept constantly inundated. 
The weedings are on the twentyfifth, thirtyfifth, and fif- 
tieth days. In order to prepare the seed, it must be put 
into a pot, and kept for three days covered with water. 
It is then mixed with an equal quantity of rotten cowdung, 
and laid in a heap, in some part of the house, entirely 
sheltered from the wind. The heap is well covered witb 
straw and mats, and at the end of three days, the seec^, 
having shot out sprouts abo;it an inch in length, is found 
fit for sowing. This manner of cultivation is much moie 
troublesome than that calleihJr// seed: and the produce 
from the same extent of ground is both nearly equal; 
but the sprouted seed cultivation gives time for a preced- 
ing crop of pulse on the same field, and saves a qu-.irterof 
the seed. 

The manner of reaping and preserving all the kinds of 
rice is nearly the same. About a week before the corn 
is fit for reaping, the water is let off, that the ground may 
dry. The corn is cut down about four inches from the 

TOJ.. II. 6 


ground with a reaping hook, called Ciidugaht, or Cudagti* 
Without being bound up in sheaves, it is put in small 
stacks, about twelve feet high ; in which the stalks are 
placed outward, and the ears inward. Here the corn 
remains a week, or, if it rain, fourteen days. It is then 
spread out on a thrashing tioor, made smooth with claj, 
eowdung, and water; and is trodden out by driving bul- 
locks over it. If there has been rain, the corn, after hav- 
ing been thrashed, must be dried in the sun; but in dry 
weather this trouble is unnecessary. It is then put up 
in heaps called Rashy, which contain about 60 Candacas^ 
or 334 bushels. The heap, as I have before mentioned, 
is marked with clay, and is carefully covered with straw- 
A trench is then dug round it, to keep off the water. For 
twenty or thirty days, till the division of the crop be- 
tween the government and the cultivator takes pla.ce, the 
corn is allowed to remain in the heap."^ 

The Hainu crop, which grows in the rainy season is 
commonly Gydda, or Doda Byra ; and the former also 
most usually composes the crop of the dry season, except 
where the Doda Byra has preceded it : in which case, 
some of the kinds that are more quick of growth must be 
used. The grains that require six or seven months take 
two more ploughings than those that come to maturity in 
less time, which is the only difference in the process of 
cultivation. The only cultivation in useheref is the Mola 
or sprouted seed. In order to cultivate Gydda Byra in 
the rainy season, the field is watered in the month pre- 
ceding Midsummer; and then, having been drained, it is 
ploughed first lengthwise, and then across. Next day 
the double ploughing is repeated, and the field is inundat- 
ed. On the fifth day the field is again drained, the 
double ploughing is repeated, and then the water is admit- 
ted. These steps are repeated on the 8th, 11th, and 
14th days. At the third or fourth double ploughing, the 

* Dr Buchanan's journey from Madras through the Mysore, t:c. vol. i. 
p. 83, fctc. 

t Kellamangalam in the Mysore. 


field is manured with dung; and immediately after the 
last of it is smoothed with a plank drawn by oxen, Maram, 
sown broad cast with the prepared seed, and then covered 
two inches deep with water. On the third day after sow- 
ing, the field is drained, and sprinkled with (hy dunCr 
which has been rubbed to dust. On the fifth day, an 
inch of water is admitted, and ever afterward the field is 
inundated; the depth of water being increased as tl-.e 
lice grows, and care being taken that the young plants 
should be never entirely covered. On the 20th day, the 
field is harrowed with the rake, drawn by oxen ; and on 
the 30th, 40th, and 90th days, the weeds are removed by 
the hand. At this last weeding all superfluous stalks are 
destroyed by pinching them between the toes. When 
ripe, this crop is cut up with the straw and put up in 
heaps. Next day, it is trodden out by oxen. The straw 
is sometimes spoiled by the rain and thrown into the dung- 
hill ; but at other times, it is preserved for fodder. 

The cultivation for the crop raised in the dry season, is 
quite similar to that before described; but the ploughing 
season is different. The straw of this crop is always well 
preserved, which renders it valuable ; but the quantity of 
grain is smaller. 

On good soils, the crop raised in the wet season, pro- 
duces forty fold of Gydda Byra, or almost fortyfive bush- 
els an acre, worth lA. 19. 4|. In the crop cultivated 
in dry weather, on good soils, the produce is thirty seeds, 
or rather more than thirty bushels and a half for each acre. 
The rice of both crops keeps equally well, and is of equal 



The Arabs, in eating their milk, use no spoons. They 
dip their hands into the milk, which is placed in a wooden 

* See Dr. Buchanan's journey from Madras through the Mysore, &c. vn\ 
iji.p. 445, &c. ' 


bowl before them, and so sup it out of the palms of their 
hands. Le Bi uyn^ observed five or six Arabs, who were 
ealing milk together after this manner, on the side of the 
Nile, as he was going up that river to Cairo, and was as- 
tonished at it; bat it is common in those countries; and 
d'Arviejix informs us, that ihej eat their pottage in the 
same manner.f 

Is it not reasonable to suppose, that the same usage ob- 
tained anciently among the Jews, and that Solomon re- 
fers to it when he says, Prov. xix. 24. A slothful man 
hides his hand in the dish, nn^i*3 betsallachctth, and will 
not so much as bring it to his month again? Our trans- 
lators indeed, render nnbif Ihe bosom, and Arias Montanus 
the armpit ; but it is confessed, J that the word, every 
where else, signifies a pot, or dish, or something like it, 
and can only by a metaphor be applied to the bosom, or 
armhole. That which has induced the learned to depart 
from i\\Q w^eil known meaning of the word, and to put 
upon it a metaphorical, and I am afraid we may say a 
whimsical sense, has been, their not being able to conceive 
what coidd be meant by hiding the hand in the dish ; and 
the supposing there was some resemblance between a dish 
and the bosom, or the armpit : but this circumstance, 
which travellers have mentioned, makes that perfectly 
clear, which appeared so obscure. The slothful man, 
having lifted up his hand full of milk or pottage to his 
mouth, will not do it a second time ; no, though it be ac- 
tually dipped itito the milk or pottage, h^ will not submit 
to the great fatigue of liffing it again from thence to his 
mouth. Strong painting indeed this, but perfectly in the 
Oriental taste. H 

* Tom. i. p. 586. Dr. Russell observes, MS. note, that the Arabs near 
Aleppo use spoofis made of wood and horn. Edit. 

t Voy. dans la Pal. p. 205. 

4: See Bishop Patrick's Argument before Prov. xix. 

II I mnch doubt tlie propriety of this illustration, and think it fiir from 
•jolid. The Arabs, in eating, do not thrust their Mhole hand into the dish, 
but only their liiumb and two first fingers, M'ith which they take up the 


To this may be added, (lia( Solomon repeals this max- 
im, wilh some variation of expression, ch. xxvi. ver. 15, 
but retains the word nnSv, whicli has been translated 
bosom. This woiild induce one to suppose he did not 
use it- in such a very remote and metaphorical sense, as 
has been imagined, since the proper word, p^n chiky quite 
ditferent from this, is used in other places, where there 
was occasion to speak of the hand's being in the bosom. 
See in Ps. Ixxiv. 11, in particular. 

But, perhaps, that part of (he history of Gideon, that 
supposes very few would be disposed to use water after 
this niinner, may be thought an objection to the apply- 
ing (his acco'irit of the modern Arabs to the ancient Isra- 
elites. Aid the Lord said unto Gideon, The j^eople are 
yet too many ; bringr them down unto the water, and I 
will try them for thee there : every one that lappet h of 
the water vAth his tongue as a dog lappeth, him shalt 
thou set by himself; likewise every one that bowe(h down 
upon his knees to drink. And the number of them that 
lapped, putting their hands to their mouth, were three 
hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down 
upon their knees to drink water, Judges vii. 4, 5, 6. 
Had it been so common with the Israelites to take up li- 
quids in the palms of their hands, as it is with the Arabs, 
would this have been a proper means to reduce their num- 
ber in any considerable degree? Would there have been 
only three hundred out of ten thousand that lapped ?^'^ 

This may be thought specious, but the objection is by 
no means solid. The Arabs lap their milk, and pottage, 

rflci'sel lukme, and that in a moderate quantity at a time. I take tlie sense 
therefore to be, that the slothful man, in place of taking u[) a moderate 
mouthful, thrusts his ha7id into the pillnw, or such like, and takes a hand- 
ful s.t a time, in order to avoid the trouble of returning frequently to the 
dish. Dr. R's MS.note in loc. Edit. 

* Dr. Russell says, MS. note, I think this passage obscure : they who 
bowed down upon their knees must have lapped like dogs, not the others 
v.'ho took up the water with their hands. Both niodcs are not uncommon 
jn passinj; brooks and rivulets. Edit. 


but not their water, ^ On the contrary, d'Arvieux telis 
us, that after they have eaten, they rise from table, and 
go and drink large draughts out of a pitcher, or, for want 
of that, out of a leather bottle, which they hand to one 
another round and round. f Few of the Israelites, if they 
did in common sup their milk and pottage out of their 
hands, as the Arabs do, would have been disposed to lap 
water in the same manner, if they drank too as the Arabs 
now drink. 

Two considerations more will complete the illustration 
of this part of the history of Gideon. The one is, that 
the Eastern people are not wont to drink standing. Bus- 
bequius, the Imperial Ambassador at Constantinople, in 
Lis celebrated letters concerning the Eastern people, af- 
firms this in a very particular manner; J the other, that 
the lapping with their hands is a very expeditious way of 
taking in liquids. |j D'Arvieux, in that accurate account 
of the Arabs of Mount Carmel, expressly takes notice of 
this, observing that this may be the reason why spoons 
are so universally neglected among the Arabs, as a man 
would eat upon very unequal terms with a spoon, among 
those that use the palms of their hands instead of them. § 

* *' It is ivatev only that I have seen them take up in this way, says Dr. 
Russell, ibid, not milk or pottage which they eat with spoons, or else sop 
up with bread." The drinking out of leather bottles, is when they have 
water preserved. Edit. 

t Voy. dans la Pal. p. 205. 

+ Ep. 3. p. 169, 170. Aquam — cessmsubsidentesbiberent. Turcis enim 
bibere aut vesci aut urinam facere stantibus, nisi quid cogat, religio esty sed 
hsec faciunt ita demissis coxis, ut apud nos redditurse lotium mulieres. 

II " They are not restrained in their choice," says Dr. Russell, MS. note. 
** When they take water with the palms of their hands, they naturally place 
themselves on their hams to be nearer the water ; but when they drink 
from a pitcher, or gourd, fresh filled, they do not sit down on purpose to 
drink, but drink standing, and very often put the sleeve of their shirt over 
the mouth of the vessel, by way of strainer, lest small leeches might have 
been taken up with the water. It is for the same reason they often prefer 
taking the water with the palm of their hand, to the lapping it from the 
surface." Edit. 

§ Voy, dans la Pal. p. 205. 


tJntil I met with this passage of Busbequius, I could 
not tell what to make of that particular circumstance 
of the history of the Jewish Judge, that all the rest of 
the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water. 
It appeared to me rather the putting themselves into an 
attitude to lap water, than any thing else ; as I supposed 
the words signified that they kneeled down by the side of 
some water in order to drink. But the matter is now 
clear : three hundred men, immediately upon their com- 
ing to the water, drank of it in the quickest manner they 
could, in order to be ready without delay to follow Gide- 
on ; the rest took up water in pitchers, or leather bottles^ 
or some kind of vessel, and bending down so as to sit 
jointly upon their heels and knees, or with their knees 
placed upright before them, either of which might be 
called bowing their knees to drink, though the last is the 
posture Busbequius refers to, they handed these drinking 
vessels with ceremony and slowness from one to another^ 
as they were wont to do in common, which occasioned 
their dismission. So two and twenty thousand of those 
that were faint hearted were first sent away ; then all the 
rest, excepting three hundred men of peculiar alacrity and 
despatch, the most proper for the business for which they 
were designed, but visibly unequal to the task of oppos- 
ing the Midianites : and without some miraculous inter- 
position of God ; absolutely unequal. 



It is surprising that so celebrated an author as Alting, 
should imagine these words of the Prophet,^ bittter and 
honey shall he eat, Sec. are expressive of a state of pover- 
ty ; yet Vitringa, in his commentary on them, assures us 
this is his sentiment. 

* Is. vii. 15. 


The Old Testament so often speaks oUioney and ntilk 
as emblems of pUnly, and the connexion between butter 
and milk is so obvious, that few, I believe, have embraced 
his opinion, li will not however be amiss, to cite a pas- 
sage or two from d'Arvieux's account of his jcnrnej lo 
the Grand Emir's camp, to establish this point, especially 
as it will give occasion to other reflections. 

D'Arvieux being in the camp of that Arab prince, who 
lived in much splendor, and treated him with great regard, 
was entertained, he tells us,=^ the first morning of his be- 
ing there, with little loaves, honey, new churned butter, 
and loaves of cream,f more delicate than any he ever saw, 
together with coffee. Agreeably to this, he assures us in 
another place, J that one of the principal things with which 
the Arabs regale themselves at breakfast is cream, or new 
butter^W mingled with honey ; a mixture, he observes, 
which seems odd, but which experience proves not to be 

According to him then, butter and honey is an exqui- 
site breakfast among the Arabs, and presented by princes 
to those they would honor with great distinction; conse- 
quently nothing is more unhappy than the thought of AI- 

Every one's eating butter and honey, of the poor peo- 
ple that should be left in the land, mentioned Is. vii. 22, 
is by no means contrary to this account of d'Arvieux ; it 
apparently signifies the plenty in which those should live 
there that survived the desolation of that country, and 
continued in it when laid open and become common. 
The Prophet expressly says, the eating of butter was to 
be the consequence of abundance of milk. 

* Voy. dans la Pal. p. 24. 

f A delicacy in use in France, which the Knglish translator expresses by 
aheese cakes, though 1 have been assured they are diftereat things. 

^ P. 197. 

jj I suspect this, says Dr. Russell, MS. note, to be kaymuk. Edit. 


The account that is given of the diet of John the Bap- 
tist maj be thought a much stronger objection. He lived 
on locusts and wild honey, and his way of life is represent- 
ed, bv our Lord, as the very reverse of those who dwell 
in kings' courts, nay, as very different from his own ; con- 
sequently honey and locusts must be thought to have 
been then reckoned very coarse sorts of food, whatever 
honey may now be among the Arabs. But the force of 
this difficulty lies in taking for granted, what is not to be 
admitted, that the management of John was like the af- 
fected rigour and pompous abstinence of some superstitious 
hermits ; whereas the account we liave of him only ex- 
presses great simplicity ; that he contented himself with 
what nature offered him in those retreats. This, to those 
that expected the Messiah's should be an earthly king- 
dom, and those that v/ere concerned in introducing it, 
great men after the manner of this world, might well be 
pointed out by our Lord as a thing extremely observ- 

There is a passage in Rauwolff-^ that greatly illustrates 
this explanation, in which, speaking of his passing through 
the Arabian deserts, he says, "We were necessitated 
to be contented with some slight food or other, and 
make a shift with curds,t cheese, fruits, honey, &c. 
and to take any of these, with bread, for a good 
entertainment. The honey in these parts is very good, 
and of a whitish colour, whereof they take in their 
caravans and navigations, great leather bottles full along 
with them ; this they bring you In small cups, and put a 
little butter to it, and so you eat it with biscuits. By 
this dish, I often remember St. John the Baptist, the fore- 
runner of our Lord, hov/ he also did eat honey in the 
deserts, together with other food. Besides this, when we 
had a mind to feast ourselves, some ran, as soon as our 

* p. 149. 

Y I suspect, says Dr. Russell, MS. note, that the curds here, mean lebav 
dried. Edit. 

VOL. II. 7 

jO relating to TllEllt DIET, kc, 

master had landed at night, to fetch some wood, and oth- 
ers in the mean time made a hole in the ground on the 
shore, in the nature of a furnace, to boil our meat. So 
everj- company dressed accordingly what they had a mind 
to, or what they had laid up in store ; some boiled rice, 
others ground corn, S:c. And when they had a mind to 
eaf new bread, instead, or for want of biscuits, they 
made a paste of flour and water," &c. Rauwolff speaks of 
honey, fruits, curds, and cheese, as sorts of food that they 
were obliged to make a shift with, and he opposes them 
to those eatables on which they sometimes feasted, but 
certainly not because these things vrere in themselves 
coarse and mortifying ; for iie telis us, the honey was very 
good, and ehe where* speaks of the bringing some of these 
thingsf to the Eastern tables, as delicacies at the close of 
their enfertainments : but he considers them when alone 
as being a slight sort of food, and which people are not 
wont to be pleased with v/ithout something of a more solid 
kind. Such doubtless, was the character of the Baptist's 
abstemiousness, not pompous, affected, and brutal, like 
that of the hermits of superstition, who more resemble 
Nebuchadnezzar in his distraction, than the forerunner of 
our Lord; but perfectly natural, as living among the 
people of the Wilderness, contenting himself therefore 
with a way of life sparing as theirs, and perhaps more vis- 
ibly dependent on what Providence presented than even 
they, instead of living in abundance and profusion, after 
the manner of those that dwelt in kings' palaces, or eating 
bread and meat, and drinking wine as our Lord did. 

This explanation will, at the same time, remove a diffi- 
culty, that might otherwise arise from what modern au- 
thors have told us, of the agreeableness of the taste of lo- 
custs, and their being frequently used for food in the East ; 
Dr, Shaw observing,J that when they are sprinkled with 
salt, and fried, they are not unlike, in taste, to our fresh 
water crayfish ; Russell saying, || the Arabs salt them up, 
and eat them as a delicacy. 

* P. 9S. t Cheese and fruits. + P. 188. |) P. 62. 


Even this clothing of hair is menlioned by RauwoIiT as 
in common use in those deserts ; and he says, tliat he 
himself, in his travels among that people, put on a frock of 
this kind.* There was nothing then in John of excessive 
rigour; nothing of an ostentations departing fioni common 
forms of living, in order to indulge in delicacies, like those 
St. Jerom blames in that letter to Nepotian I have already 
cited ;f but retiring into the deserts for meditation and 
prayer, he lived with great simplicity, after the manner of 
the inhabitants of those places, both with respect to dress 
and food. 

But to proceed. Nothing more, I believe, is under- 
stood by us, in common, when we read those passages that 
speak of eatingbutter and honey, than the eating separate- 
ly of each of them ; but the modern Arabs, according (o 
Rauwolif and d'Arvieux, often mix them together, espec- 
ially when they would regale their friends more delicious- 
ly than usual, according to the last mentioned observer : 
and there is reason to think this is only retaining an an- 
cient usage, and that the eating butter and honey in the 
Prophet, means, the eating them mingled together. 

Their account furnishes us with one correction more, 
and that is, that butter and honey are used by grown up 
people, and are by no means appropriated to children: 
those learned men then, among whom is Archbishop Usher, 
who consider butter and honey in Is. vii. 15, as signifying 
infant's food, J attach an idea to the words which seems 
to have nothing to do with them. Indeed, it is more prob- 
able, that they signify the contrary, and should rather be 
thus translated, <' Butter and honey shall he eat, when he 
shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good :" that 
is, though now Judah is terribly harrassed, and that oc- 
casions scarcity, when this child shall be grown up to be 

* P. 123 and 156. These gannents however Avere made of the haii- of 
goals and asses, whereas the clothing of John was of caniel'i hair, Matt. iii. 
4 : they were not then exactly alike, but agreed in general in being of fiair- 
cloth. The reader will find this circumstance resumed in another place. 

t P. 397. Observation x. Vol. i. + See Lowth upon the place. 


able (o liisfinguish between good and evil, both these kings 
shall be cut oiT, and this country shall enjoy such plenty, 
that it shall produce, as usual, a sufficiency of butter and 
honey for the support of its inhabitants. 



But delicious as honey is to an Eastern palate, it has 
been thought sometimes to have produced terrible effects. 
So Sanutus^ tells us, Ihatthe English that attended Ed- 
ward I. into the Holy Land, died in great numbers, as they 
marched, in June, to demolish a place, which he ascribes 
to the excessive heat, and their intemperate eating of fruits 
and honey. 

This, perhaps, may give us the thought of Solomon 
when he says,f It is not g^ood to eat much honey. He 
had before, in the same chapter, mentioned thatanexcesa 
in eating honey occasioned sickness and vomiting ; but, if 
it was thought sometimes to produce deadly effects, there 
is a greater energy in the instruction. 

But however that be, this circumstance seems to illus- 
Irate the prophetic passage, which speaks of a book sweet 
in the mouth as a morsel of honey, but bitter after it 
was down, J producing pain bitter as those gripings the 
army of Edward felt in the Holy Land, from eating honey 
to excess : for of such disorders as are the common 
effects of intemperateness as to fruit, in those climates, 
Sanutus appears to be speaking, and the bloody fiux, at- 
tended with griping pains, is well known to be the great 

* Gesta Dei per Francos, vol. ii. p. 224. f Prov. xxv. 27. 

T Rev. X. 9, 10. II Money, like other sweet tlii;igs, is generallj? siiji- 

posed to procluco bile, and ou tljis account acids arc often joined with it' 




There is no difference made among us, between the 
delicacy of honey in the comb, and after its separation 
from if, we may therefore be at a loss to enter into the 
energy of that expression, Siveeter than honey, and the 
honeycomb, Ps. xix. 10; or, to express it with the same 
emphasis as our translation does the preceding clause, 
Sweeter than honey, yea, than the honeycomb, which last, 
it should seem, from the turn of thought of the Psalmist, 
is as much to be preferred to honey, as the finest gold is 
to that of a more impure nature.^ 

But this will appear in a more easy light, if the diet and 
the relish of the present Moors, of West Barbary, be 
thought to resemble those of the times of the Psalmist : for 
a paper published first in the Philosophical Transactipns, 
and after that by Dr. Halley, in the Miscellanea Curlosa,f 
informs us, that they esteem honey a wholesome break- 
fast, " and the most delicious that which is in the comb, 
with the young bees in it, before they come out of their 
cases, whilst they still look milkwhile, and resemble, 
being taken out, gentles, such as fishers use : these I have 
often eat of, but they seemed insipid lo my palate, and 
sometimes I found they gave me the heartburn." 

This, however, is hardly all : there should be some- 
thing more in it than this, if the present Moorish practice 
be allowed to be explanatory of the ancient Jewish diet, 
since there are no fewer than three very different Hebrew 

* Whoever has eaten honey newly taken out of a honeycomb, or chewed 
the fresh honeycomb before the cups or cells have been opened, ifiust 
know that there is then felt a peculiar delicacy of flavour, which will be 
sought for in vain after the honey has been for any length of time express- 
ed or clarified. KniT. 

t Vol. iii, p. ri82. 


words Iranslated honeycomb bj us,"^^ anil in a language so 
little copious as that is, it would be very extraordinary if 
they should ail signify precisely the same thing, and es- 
pecially when there is such a variety of things of this 

The Septuagint translator of the book of Canticles, 
supposes bread is meant by the honeycomb of Cant. v. i. 
And the ingenious Dr. Shaw seems to imagine that the 
honies, as he calls them, of grapes, of the palm tvee, or of 
dales, and of the reed, that is sugar, were of such an an- 
tiquity, as to be referred to in the days of Moses, as well 
as that of bees. That paper too in ihe Miscellanea Ciirio- 
sa gives us to understand, that honey may be called by 
different names, according to its different natural or arti- 
ficial qualities : for its author tells us, that when he was 
at Suse, he had a bag of honey brought him by a friend, 
who made a present of it to him, as being of great esteem 
and such as they present to men of greatest note among 
them, telling him, he was to eat a little of it every morn- 
ing to the quantity of a walnut. It was thick as Venice 
treacle, and full of small seeds. He breakfasted upon it 
several mornings, and found it always made him sleepy, 
but agreed very well with him. The seeds were of the 
bigness of mustard, and, according to the description of 
them to him, and the effects he found from eating honey 
and them, they must have been a large sort, he says, of 
poppy seed. " The honey was of that sort they call in 
Suse isucanee, or origanmn, which the bees feed on, and 
these seeds were mixed with." 

As then there are so many sorts of honey, as there are 
three distinct Hebrew words translated honeycomb, and 
as that language is so little copious, it must surely be more 
natural to suppose those three terms signify different 
things, than one and the same. But what? is a difficult 

* These are 'l^*"* yaar, ^IJ noph, and ^"IV tsuph : see the eonclusion of 
this Observation. Edit. 


The rob of grapes, ot" which, Shaw tells us near two 
thousand quintals are annually sent from Hebron alone to 
Egypt, is, probably, unconcerned in this inquiry. It is 
readily allowed, that it is now consumed in great quanti- 
ties ; and that its name, dibs, is nearly the same with the 
Hebrew word debash, which signifies honey, a circum- 
stance which the Doctor also mentions. Other authors 
also^ speak of tliis part of the Eastern diet very frequent- 
ly, and sometimes nearly under the same name. Yet I 
very much question its being known in the time of 3Ioses ; 
for the writers of antiquity, of whom some have mention- 
ed the honey of dates, and of reeds, have, so far as I 
know, been altogether silent about it. Perhaps it would 
never have been thought of^ had wine been allowed there 
in common, as it was anciently. But, however, that it 
was unknown in the time of Moses, is, I should think,suf- 
ficiently plain, from his precepts concerning the Naza- 
rites. They were forbid the use of every thing produced 
by the vine : moist grapes, raisins, wine, vinegar, are dis- 
tinctly mentioned, but not a word about the honey of 
grapes; and though the law does not content itself with 
forbidding wine and vinegar, but expressly forbids the 
drinking any liquor of grapes, there is an absolute silence 
about eating its inspissated juice, though it is now one of 
the chief thin2;s made from the vine. And as it seems 
not to have been in use in the days of Moses, it was, for 
any thing that appears to the contrary, equally unknown 
in all the times of the Old Testament. 

The carryins: down Joseph a present of the best things 
of the land, a little balnu and a little dibs, Gen. xliii. 11, 
is mentioned by Dr. Shaw as a proof that the rob of grapes 
was in use very anciently, for honey, properly so called, 
could not be so great a rarity there, he thinks, as dibs 
must be, from the want of vineyards in Egypt. But I 

* Dr Russell, in his Hist, of Aleppo, calls it (Ii7)bs, and speaks of it a:i 
commonly used at Aleppo for food ; Olearius mentions it in his account of 
Persia; and Bp. Pococke in his first vol- concerning F-srypt, under the namr 
«f bccmes. 


do not know Ihat Jacob, in choosing that present, fixed 
on things that were most nncommon in Egypt, but those < 
that were thought in Canaan valuable things, and proper 
for a present to great men. Take of the best fruits in the 
land in your vesselS) and carry down the man a present^ 
are the precise words of the Patriarch r now it appears 
from the paper in the Bliscellanea Curiosa^ the honey 
of bees, especially one sort of it, is at this day given as a 
present to persons of the greatest note ; and it appears 
from 1 Kings xiv. 3, that it was thought a proper present 
anciently. But setting this consideration aside, as to the 
greater rarity of the honey of grapes in Egypt, it is im- 
possible to determine which was most plentiful in that 
country, in those times : It is certain it is naturally the 
produce of woody countries, and Egypt is not, and, we 
have reason to believe from its marshy situation, never 
was a well wooded country ; if then, art had not inter- 
posed in the days of Jacob to make hives for the bees, 
and they had honey only from hollow trees, the honey of 
bees might be as great a rarity in Egypt as the honey of 
grapes, for they had some vineyards there soon after, or 
iat least a number of vines, Ps. cv. 33, supposing with the 
Doctor this inspissated juice was then in use, which does 
not appear to be the fact. This sort of honey then ought 
to be out of the question. 

The honey of the palm tree, or of dates, appears to be 
more ancient : for Josephus tells us"^ it was copiously 
prodnced about Jericho, and inferior, though not much, 
to common honey, which was also plentiful there. The 
much older writer too of the second book of Chronicles, 
is commonly understood by interpreters, to mean this 
honey of dates, ch. xxxi. 5, which gives an account of the 
first fruits of the increase of the field. This relation of 
Josephus concernino: this sort of honey differs from that 
o-iven us by Dr. Shaw,f according to whom, it has more 

* De Bello Jud. lib. 4, cap, S. Ed. Hav. t JP- l-i^. 


luscious sweetness than proper honey, and is so esteemed 
as to be made use of by persons of better fashion upon a 
marriage, at the birth or circumcision of a child, or any 
other feast or good day. The manner also in which this 
kind of honey is procured, according to his account, seems 
to be different from that of the country and age of Jose- 
phus,=^ which difference may be the cause that the one 
reckons it better, and the other worse, than the honey of 
bees; but be that as it will, Josephns must be supposed 
to give the most authentic account of the Jewish palm 
tree honey, and of the esteem it had in that country. 

As to the honey of reeds, or, in other terms, sugar, it is 
now produced in Egypt; and the green reeds, or canes, 
are in high esteeu^. there, according to Dr. Pococke, who 
assures us,t the people of that country eat great quanti- 
ties of them, and esteem it a great dessert : he adds, that 
they frequently eat their bread, broken into small pieces, 
and put into a sort of syrup made of the cane ; and that, 
besides some coarse loaf sugar, and some sugar candy, 
they make some very fine sugar, which they send to Con- 
stantinople to the Grand Seignor, and make it only for 
that purpose. The Crusade writers, J in like manner, 
speak of these reeds, under the name ol calamelliy or ca- 
namellce, as growing in those times near Tyre, and other 
places in Syria. From these, the Archbishop of Tyre 
tells us, ^ugar is produced, a most precious thing for hu- 
man use, and very necessary for the health of men; as 
another of those authors remarks, that it is looked upon 
by the natives of that country as a delicacy, and appears 
to the taste to exceed the honeycon;b in sweetness rnd 
healthfulness, adding, that some suppose it was the sort 
of honey that Jonathan, the son of Saul, found, and tast- 

* The people of Rarbary, according to Dr. Shaw, cut off the top of the 
tree, and receive the sap in a sort of bain they have scooped in the top rf 
the trunk; but Josephus seems to suppose this honey was got b) pressure. 

t Vol. i. p. 185—204. 

t Gesta Dei per Francos, p. 970, 304, 401, 8*5. 

TOL. n. 8 


ed of. No one, I believe, will be ready to adopt that 
last sentiment: the canamellce grow not in woods; nor 
would it have been so natural, if they had, for him to have 
made use of the rod in his hand, for the taking some of 
their juice. They might, however, be known to David 
aiid to Solomon, or what was produced from them : not 
that we are to imagine, that they grew in the time of those 
princes in Judea, or in Egypt, or in Syria | it does not 
appear they did so in the time of our Lord. Some mod- 
erns, it has been said, suppose those of that time had no 
knowledge at all of sugar 5 but it has been shown, on the 
contrary, that several of them were acquainted with it:^ 
but at the same time, it sufficiently appears, by Ihe im- 
perfect accounts of those very authors, that the plant did 
not at that time grow in so near and well known a coun- 
try as either Egypt, Syria, or Judea. Dioscorides, the 
Cilician, who lived a little time after the death of our 
Lord, in a passage cited by Dr. Shaw himself.f express- 
ly mentions sugar as a thing he was acquainted with, but 
as a production of India and Arabia the Happy : suppos- 
ing, if I understand the passage aright, that sugar canes 
grew in this Arabia, where sometimes the sugar was found 
congealed upon the canes; but that manufactured sugar 
came from India, If it was not a production of Judea in 
the time of our Lord, it is reasonable to believe it never 
was in the ages that preceded his: it was too delicate a 
thing in the esteem of the Eastern people to be abandoned. 
David and Solomon, however, might be acquainted with 
it. We are to remember they were mighty princes, 
greatly revered by foreign nations, and their influence of 
great extent ; as such presents were made them, accord- 
ing to the Eastern mode, by distant nations, consisting of 
things of the most curious kind, some of which Judea nev- 
er before saw : And she gave the kingi says the sacred 

* Voy. le Dictionnaire ties Drogues, par Mons. Lemery, Art. Saccharum. 
t P- 339. 


historian, an hundred and Iwenty talents of gold, and of 
spices great abundance^ and precious stones; neither 
was there any such spice as the queen of Sheba gave king 
Solomon, 2 Chron. ix. 9. Sugar, in some form or other, 
might, along with those other things, be presented to Sol- 
omon, and, on the like account, by some nation or other 
to David his father, to whom we know, many great pres- 
ents were also made, 1 Chron. xviii ; as fine sugar is at 
this day sent to the Grand Seignor by the Egyptians, and 
honey was anciently by Jacob, as one of the best things 
of the land he inhabited, to a viceroy of Pharaoh. 

From these data, the knowing nothing anciently of the 
honey of grapes, the honey of dates not t-eing so good as 
proper honey, and sugar much better, with this, that su- 
gar, or the canamellcB, might be known to David and Sol- 
omon, we may draw some probable conclusions, concern • 
ing the meaning of the words rendered by our translators 

Yaareth haddebash, •li'^nn n^;'"* is, I presume, the ho7t' 
eycomb properly speaking, for it is used for the recepta- 
cle of the honey in the wood, into which Jonathan dipped 
the end of his rod, it being probably in some hollow tree, 
and not otherwise to be come at, 1 Sam. xiv. 27. Nor 
does its being used Cant. v. 1, / have eaten my honey, 
comb with my honey, contradict this : understood of the 
honeycomb properly speaking, the Bliscellanca Cnriosa 
may furnish us with a comment on the words ; or the Sep- 
tuagint translator of the Canticles may be supposed to in- 
terpret it, who thinks it signifies bread in that place, bread, 
we are to imagine of a particular kind, somewhat like Dr. 
Shaw's bagreahy which he tells us=^^ is a pancake made 
like to honeycomb, by rubbing the tajen with soap in- 
stead of butter, ty^n ^"jiy tsuph debash, used Prov. xvi. 
24, and Ps. xix. 10, is, I suppose, the name given the 
plant that produces one of the other kinds of honey : and 
when I consider that only David and Solomon speak of 

* p. £30. 


this ; (hat the P-salmisI supposes its droppings are as much 
preferable to honey, as refined gold (o unrefined ; and 
c ) npare the words of the other sacred writer, Pleasant 
words are as an honeycomb^ or as the honey tzuph, 
" sweet to the soul, and health to the bones," with those 
expressions of William the Archbishop of Tyre,* "It 
produces canes, from whence sugar is made, one of the 
most precious things in the world for the use of men, and 
extremely necessary for their health ;" I am very much 
inclined to think those two passages speak, the one of the 
sugar or syrup of that plant, the other of the cane itself. 

The honey of dales, which, though inferior to that of 
bees, is, it seems, very pleasant, is left to answer the 
other word, n33 nopheth, which occurs in Prov. v. 3, ch. 
xxiv. 13, ch. xxvii. 7, Cant. iv. 11. Or that word may 
be applied by my reader to any of the other varieties of 
honey he may meet with, and which he may think more 
answerable to the meaning of the word, and the descrip- 
tion that may be drawn from these passages. 



Amon'g the varieties made by our English potters, 
one sort, of particular shape, is called a honey pot; the 
ancient Jewish potters seem to have had a like distinction 
among them. 

Honey is a thing of which fiies, wasps, ants, &c. are so 
fond, that they must soon have found a necessity of tak- 
ing some particular care to guard against their depreda- 
tions ; and must therefore have found it requisite to make 
the vessels, designed for the preservation of their honey, 
of a particular shape, whether the same with that made 
use of by our English potters, or not, is of no consequence 
to us to determine. 

* Gesta Dei j)ep Francos, p. 835. — Canamellas, unde prcEciosis- 
iima usibus et saliiti raortalium necessaria maxime, conficitur zaciiara. 


Bakhuk pnpn seems to have been the Hebrew name of 
the vessel. The 1 Kings xiv. 3, shows it was a vessel 
u«ecl for hofjey ; as Jer. xix. 1, 10, 11, shows that it was 
an earthen vessel. 

Otir translators seem to have been unhappy, in render- 
ing the word bakhuk by the term bottle. A vessel with 
a small month, which is what is meant by the word bottle, 
is not proper for a substance so glutinous, and so apt to 
candy as lioney: whatever kind of vessel then it was, it 
certainly was not a bottle. At the same time, the force 
and liveliness of the image is extremely impaired: Go, 
said the Lord to Jeremiah, get a potter's earthen honey 
pot, and taking of the ancients of the people, and of the 
ancients of the priests, break the pot in their sight ; and 
say unto them, thus saith the Lord of Hosts, Even so 
will I break this people and this city, as one breaketh a 
potter's vessel, which cannot be made whole again, i.e. 
though the people that dwelt here in former times have 
been grateful to me, as honey is to men,"^ their habitation 
shall be destroyed totally, and their posterity cast out of 
my sight. 



St. JEROMf reckons wine, liquamen, fish, and eggs, 
along with honey, in his catalogue of delicacies. Perhaps 
then, when told the disciples gave our Lord a piece of 
broiled fish, and of a honeycomb, Luke xxiv. 42, we, who 
have been ready to look upon it as a strange association 
of dishes, if understood of proper honeycomb, and not of 
a sort of bread, have suffered this surprise from not enter- 
ing into the views of the disciples. They probably not 
attending to any order, — 

so contriv'd as not to mis 

Tastes^not well join'd, inelegant ; but bring 
Taste after taste, upheld with kiudlii-st change,* 

* Paradise Ixist, b. 5. S34 — 356. t ^t'ov. xxiv. 13. Ezek. 

xvi. 13. Gen. xliii. 11. i In Epitaphia Pauloe, vol. i p. 176. 


as Eve did, according to Milton, but only designing to ex- 
press their great veneration for him, by setting before him 
the most grateful* things in their power, leaving it to him 
to eat of which he pleased. 

I am not sure that there was no view, in like manner, 
to the delicacy of eggs, in the words of our Lord, Luke 
xi. 11, 12, where he speaks both of fish and eggs. It may 
on the contrary, perhaps, add to the beauty of the pas- 
sage, if we understand it as signifying, If a child should 
tisk an earthly parent for bread, a necessary of life, he 
will not deny him what is necessary for his support, put- 
ting him off with a stone ; and if he should ask him for a 
sort of food of the more delicious kind, ajish or an egg 
he will not, we may assure ourselves, give his child what 
is hurtful, a serpent or a scorpion : if sinful men then will 
give good gifts to their children, how much more w'ill your 
Heavenly Father give the necessary and \he more extraor- 
dinary gifts of his Spirit to them that supplicate for them ? 
not giving up to hurtful illusions those that affectionately 
pray for the hallowing bis name, and the coming of his 
kingdom, which petitions involve in them the asking for 
the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit, v. 20. 

But whatever might be the view of our Lord, it is 
certain St. Jerom was right in putting eggs into his list of 
Eastern delicacies ;f for nothing is more common than to 

* So the Arabs set all they have before their guests, however discordant 
their natures, eggs, honey, curds, &c. that every one may eat as he likes. 
Voy. dans la Pal. p. 125, and 128, So pillaw, broth, beans, sour cream, and 
honey, were set before Kgmont and Hey man by the Arabs of the Holy 
Land. Vol. ii. p. 4. Pillaw, dishes of meat, soup, honey, &e. constituted 
an entertainment at Tiberias, p. 35. 

Dr. Uusscl! remarks, that these things are not set down at once, but are 
brought on in succession. Edit. 

I Even Plutarch mentions eggs, along with bread made of sifted flour, 
and a preparation of grain unground, as delicacies among the ancient Greeks, 
in his book de Anirai Tranquillitate. 

However this may be in other places. Dr. Russell asserts, that eggs are 
not delicacies in Syria. A person eating an egg at breakfast, in Eng- 


meet with eggs in modern entertainments there, when 
they would treat persons in the most respectful manner. 
So Dr. Pococke describes a very grand morning collation, 
given in Egypt to a person of distinction, as consisting of 
the best sort of bread made with butter, fried eggs, honey, 
green salt cheese, olives, and several other small things. 
Vol. i. p. 57, He mentions also eggs very often, in the 
accounts he gives of the entertainments made for him by 
the Sheiks in the Holy Land. Agreeably to which 
Mons. d'Arvieux tells us, that a supper, prepared by the 
peasants of a village near Mount Carmel, for him and for 
their Governor, and attended with all the marks of re- 
spect they were capable of expressing, consisted of wine, 
fried fish, eggs, and some other things. "^ 

It must be their reputed delicacy also, one would im- 
agine, that occasions them frequently to be sent to persons 
of figure for presents, in those countries : fifty eggs being 
sent at one time to the English Consul whom Pococke at- 
tended to Cairo, and a hundred at another. f 




The flesh that travellers in the East frequently carry 
along with their other provisions, is usually potted, in or» 
der to preserve it fit for use. Dr. Shaw J mentions it as 

land, would be considered either as aa epicure, or as one who required 
more delicate treatment than ordinary. Yet in Ireland, boiled eggs are 
uniformly brought to table, and most people eat one at least. This is a 
ooramon custom in all genteel families. Edit. 

* Voy. dans la Pal. p. 23. 

t Travels into the East by Dr. Pococke, vol. 1. p. IT. 

i Pref. p. 11. What I have seen, says Dr. Russell, MS. note. Paster- 
mat is not potted, but is more like smoked beef. They have sausages also^ 


part of the provision he made for his journey to Mount 
Sinai, which commonly is not completed under two 
months; nor does he speak of any other sort cf meat 
which he carried with him. 

In some such way, doubtless, was the meat prepared 
that Joseph sent to his father for his viaticum, when he 
was to come into Esivpt, ten asses laden with the good 
things of Egypt ^ and ten she asses laden with corn^ and 
bread, and meat, for his father by the way. But meat is 
by no means necessary for an Eastern traveller ; and es- 
pecially for so short a journey as Jacob had to take ; and 
still less for one who was to travel with considerable quan- 
tities of cattle, as we know Jacob did, Gen. xlvi. 6, 32, 
who, consequently, could kill a goat or a kid, a sheep or 
a lamb, for himself and his company, whenever he pleas- 
ed : it was therefore, in consequence, rather sent as a 
piece of respect, and as a delicacy ; and so in another let- 
ter of St. Jeromes, that father speaks of potted flesh^ in 
this light, which therefore may be added to his preceding 
catalogue of dainty meats. 

There are other ways, however, in these hot countries 
of potting fiesh for keeping, besides that of contusion, 
mentioned by St. Jerom, and practised in our country. 
Jones, in that paper of the Miscellanea Curiosa-f I cited 
in a preceding Observation, gives us this description of 
the Moorish elcholle,'l which is made of beef« mutton, or 
camel's flesh, but chiefly beef, and which *' they cut all 
in long slices, salt it well, and let it lie twenty hours in 
the pickle. They then remove it out of those tubs, or 
jars, into others with water; and when it has lain a night, 
they take it out, and put it on ropes in the sun and air to 
dry ',11 when it k- thoroughly dried, and hard, they cut it 

* TJevera non poterat Deus cnnditum ei merum niiltere, et electos cibos, 
et carnes coutusione mutatas. Ep. ad Eustocli. vol. i. p. 137. 

t Vol. iii. p. 388, 389. t Or, alchtllea. Phil. Trans. Abr. vol. iii. part 2, 

oh. 3, § 36. II This is AvhatDr. Russell calls pasierma. Edit. 


into pieces, of two or three inches long, and throw it into 
a pan, or caldron, which is ready, with boiling oil and 
suet sufficient to hold it, where it boils till it is veryclear 
and red, if one cuts it ; which, taken out, they set to 
drain: when all is thus done, it stands to cool, antJ jars 
are prepared to put it up in, pouring the liquor they fried 
it in upon it ; and as soon as it is thoroughly cold, they slop 
it up close. It will keep two years ; it will be hard, and 
the hardest they look on to be best done. This they 
dish up cold, soaietimes fried with eggs and garlick, some- 
times stewed, and lemon squeezed on it. It is very good 
any way, either hot or cold." 



I DO not know whether St. Jerom any where speaks of 
wild animals as delicacies ; but it should seem that Isaac 
and the ancients thought them so, as well as the mod- 
erns. What Esau caught for his father, I am not able 
to say, but antelopes, Shaw tells us,=^ abound in Syria, 
Phcenice, and the Holy Land; and Russell observes that 
though in the sporting season they are lean, yet they 
have a good flavour, and in summer, when fat, they may 
vie even with our venison in England.f 

The hunting of partridges is expressly mentioned in 
another passage of Scripture jj and the account Dr. Shaw 
gives us, of the manner of doing it by the Arabs, ought to 
be set down, as it is a lively comment on that Scripture, 
which is not, however, taken notice of by that ingenious 
author. "The Arabs have another, though a more la- 
borious method of catching these birds; for, observing 
that they become languid and fatigued after they have 

* P. 347. t P- 54. t 1 Sam. xx?i. 20. 

YOh. 11. 9 


been hastily put up twice or thrice, they immediately run 
in upon them, and knock them down with their zermattys, 
or bludgeons, as we should call them."^ It was precise- 
ly in this manner Saul hunted David, coming hastily upon 
him, and putting him up from time to time, in hopes he 
should at length, by frequent repetitions of it, be able to 
destroy him. 

Egmont and Heyman give an account of the manner of 
taking snipes in the Holy Land, \tTy much like the Arab 
way of catching partridges. f They say, that if the com- 
pany be numerous, they may be hunted on horseback, as 
they are then never suffered to rest, till they are so tired 
that you may almost take them in your hand. But snipes 
delight in watery places, David therefore being in dry- 
deserts, might rather mention the partridge, of which there 
are more species than one in the East, some of which, at 
least, haunt mountainous and desert places .J 



If from the wild we proceed to the tame animals, I 
would observe that the shoulder of a lamb is thought in the 
East a great delicacy. 

Abdalmelick the Caliph,!] upon his entering into Cu- 
fah, made a splendid entertainment. "When he was sat 
down, Amrou, the son of Hareth, an ancient Mechzumian^ 
came in : he called him to him, and placing him by him 
upon his sofa, asked him what meat be liked best of all 
that ever he had eaten. The old Mechzumian answered, 
an ass's neck well seasoned, and well roasted. You do 

* P. 236. 
t Vol. ii. p 49, 50. These snipes they found not far from St. Jolic 
d'Acre. They mention them before as found in gieat numbers near the 
Sea of Tiberias, p. 37. 

4: See Egmont and Heyman, vol. ii. p. 171,172, 244; and Hasse^ui«t, 
p. 130. 

{j See Ockley'a Hist, of the Saracens, vol. ii. p. 277. 


nothing, says Abdalmelick ; what say you to a leg or a 
shoulder of a sucking lamb, well roasted, and covered over 
with butter and milk?^ The history adds, that while he 
was at supper, he said, How sweetly we live, if a shadow 
would last] This prince then thought the shoulder of a 
sucking lamb one of the most exquisite of dishes; and 
what he says explains Samuel's ordering it to be reserved 
for the future king of Israel, 1 Sam. ix. 24, as well as what 
that was which was upon it, the butter and the milk, which 
circumstance the sacred historian distinctly mentions, 
and which an European reader is apt to wonder what it 
should mean, but which added so much to the delicacy of 
the meat, that an Eastern prince, as well as an Eastern 
author, was led distinctly to mention it. 

This, and a number of the other observations I have 
been making, may be thought of no great consequence, 
nor is it pretended that they are ; but they may prevent 
some improprieties which cannot but be disagreeable to so 
cnrious and accurate an age as this. Who, that has read 
the history of Abdalmelick, can read, without pain, the 
description that is given us of this transaction of Samuel's 
life, by so considerable a prelate as Archbishop Bramhall, 
in a celebrated place, on a remarkable occasion, and be- 
fore a great audience ?f When Saul was to be inaugurat- 
ed king by Samuel, he set nothing before him but a shoul- 
der, 1 Sam. ix : a mean dish for a royal entertainment. 
According to Abdalmelick, he could not have set a more 
delicious one before him. The Archbishop goes on to re- 
mark, that some found a mystery in this dish, which he 
says they might better have called an allegory, containing 
some instruction for a prince relating to government. 
This, as will appear to those that shall take the pains to 
peruse the passage, is built on the supposition, that the 

* Probably leban h meant, which is a little acid, and is esteemed a very 
good sauce. Edit. 

f At York Minster, before his Excellency the Marquis of Newcastle, 
about to meet the Stotch ariny . 


breast is whaf is meant by the sacred historian, whesj 
along n^ilh the shoulder, he mentions that which was upon 
it : a common supposition this, t)ut probably a false one. 



Amos reckons fat lambs among the delicacies of the 
Israelites;* and it seems these creatures are in the East 
extremely delicious. 

Tiie last observation related to the shoulder of a lamb ; 
this relates to their whole bodies. It takes in kids also. 

Sir John Chardin, in his manuscript note on Amos. vi. 
4, expresses himself in very strong terms on the delicious- 
ness of these animals in the East. He tells us, that 
there, in many places, lambs are spoken of as a sort of 
food excessively delicious. That one must have eaten 
of them in several places of Persia, Media, and Mesopo- 
tamia, and of their kids, to form a conception of the mois- 
ture, taste, ( ''cacy, and fat of this animal; and as the 
Eastern people are no friends of game, nor of fish, nor 
fowls, thieir most delicious food is the Iamb and the kid. 

This observation illustrates those passages that speak 
of kids as used by them for delicious repasts, and pres- 
ents ;f as well as those others that speak of their feasting 
on lambs. It also gives great energy to our apprehensions 
of what is meant, when the Psalmist talks oi marrow and 



OcKLET, in a note on that piece of history concerning 
Abdalmelick, mentioned in the last observation but one, 

* Amos \\. 4. f Judges xv. 1. 1 Sam. xvi' 20. Luke xv. 20 


observes, that the Arabians had not altered their cookery 
since Abraham's time, who niade use of butter and milk 
when he entertained the angeU, Gen. xviii. 8. The 
fact is cerlainly true, that the customs of the Arabs are 
not altered ; but this circumstance of Abdalmelick's 
entertainment, compared with Abraham's, does not prove 
it ; the Patriarch's milk and butter might be for another 
purpose; the abovementioned passage of Samuel's his- 
tory is much more certainly illustrated by it. However, 
it may be necessary to consider that patriarchal collaiion 
a litlle distinctly, not only on this account, but for another 

Abraham was sitting in his tent door in the heat of the 
day; three men presented themselves to him, and he in- 
vited them to eat with him; the Angels accepted the in- 
vitation ; upon which he ordered a beast to be killed for 
their repast, and cakes of bread to be made. This in a 
family like that of Abraham, who lived like a prince in 
that country, appears to us very extraordinary; we are 
ready to imagine this great emir should ha\e a variety of 
eatables ready prepared for his own table, and for the 
enlertaintnent of such strangers as he should think fit to 
invite (o eat with him.^ A calf, however, is killed, and 
presented to these stran2;ers, with butter and milk. 
This is the sfory ; was the butter melted in the milk, and 
poured over this meat, likewise the sauce of Abdahnelick's 
lamb ? or was butter set upon the table as one distinct 
dish, and milk as a second, to attend on the calf, the prin- 
cipal part of the collation ? 

A passage from la Roque's account of the journey of 
Mons. d'Arvieux to the camp of the gre^t emir,f will 
show, that Ockley's thought is not so certain as he seems 

* Abraham had already diued, and there was time enough to kill meat 
for supper. Fresh meat is i )t preserved from meal to meal, in the East, 
but is fresh dressed at each repast ; the residue of the former meal being 
always consumed by the attendants and servants. Fresh meat cannot be 
long preserved in the East, in warm weather. Edit. 

t Voy. dans la Pal. p. 124—129. 


to have iraas^ined. This account of la Roqiie's describes 
first the hospitality of (hose Arabs that live in the camp, 
as Abraham did; and then of those villages that depend 
upon them, and are under their direction: it appears to 
be much the same in both, and the only reason why I 
cite the account that he gives of the hospitality of the 
Arabs in their villages, is, because it is more large and 
distinct. It is as follows : 

" When strangers enter a village, where they know no- 
body, they inquire for the Menzil,"^ and desire to speak 
with the Sheik, who is as the lord of it, or at least repre- 
sents his person, and the body of the community : after 
saluting him, they signify their want of a dinner, or of 
supping and lodging in the village. The Sheik says 
they are welcome, and that they could not do him a 
greater pleasure. He then marches at the head of the 
strangers, and conducts them to the Menzil, where also 
they may alight at once if the Sheik is not at home, and 
ask for every thing they want. But they seldom have 
occasion for all this, for as soon as the people of the vil- 
lage see any strangers coming, they inform the Sheik of 
it, who goes to meet them, accompanied by some peasants^ 
or by some of his domestics, and having saluted them, 
asks if they would dine in the village, or whether they 
choose to stay the whole night there : if they answer they 
would only eat a morsel and go forward, and that they 
choose to stay under some tree a little out of the village, 
the Sheik goes, or sends his people into the village, to 
cause a collation to be brought, and in a little time they 
return with eggs, butter, curds, honey, olives, fruit fresh 
or dried, according to the season, when they have not 
time to cook any meat." He afterward tells us, that if 
it is evening, and the strangers would lodge in the village, 

* The Menzil signifies the place destined for the reception oi' strangers, 
and often a lower apartment of the Sheik's house. 

J^JLo Manzal is used both by Arabic and Persian -writers to signify an 
inn, caravanserai, or house of public enlertninraeat, and not a particular part 
-►fa private habitatioii. Edit. 


Ihat the women belonging to the Sheik's house having 
observed the number of the guests, " never fail to cause 
fowls, sheep, lambs, or a calf to be killed, according to 
the quantify of meat which will be wanted for the enter- 
tainment of the guests, and of those that are to bear them 
company ; and quickly make it into soup, roast it, and 
form out of it many other ragouts after their way, which 
they send to the Menzil by the Sheik's servants, in 
wooden bowls, which they place on a great round straw 
mat, that usually serves them for a table. These dishes 
being set in order, with many others in which are eggs, 
cheese, fruit, sallad, sour curdled milk, i.e. lebmiy olives, 
and all that they have to treat their guests with, which 
they set before them at once, that every one may eat as 
he likes; the Sheik begs of the strangers to sit round 
the mat, he himself sitting down with them,^ together 
with the other peasants of fashion belonging to the village, 
in order to do them honor. They make no use of 
knives at table, the meat being all cut into little bits." 

We see here Abraham's hospitality and his manner of 
receiving his guests under a tree, W'e see too in what 
manner the Arabs now present butter and milk on such 
occasions: and if there is no alteration in their customs^ 
Abraham presented them as distinct dishes, butter and 
sour curdled milk being particularly mentioned among 
the dishes they present alone, when they have no 
time to dress meat, and which they set upon the table as 

* Dandini assures us, that among the Maronites, if any one eats in anoth-* 
er's house, it is the master of the house th;>t waits, and serves every one 
with his glass, so that he has no manner of repose at the table, ch xi. 
What Abraham did, Gen. xviii 8, if our translation be just, seems more to 
resemble this practice of the Maronites, than the account of the Arabs s 
but it is not impossible, that what Dandini observes might be a compliment to 
him as nuncio, not the common custom ; and Abraham's attittde may be 
intended to express the extreme reverence with which he treated the an- 
gels. This conjecture, says Dr. Russell, MS. note, is just. The Chris- 
tians, in their own houses, often wait themselves on their guests of superior 
rank : but otherwise, they sit down and are served by their sons, or kins- 
Mieit. E»XT. 


side or additional dishes, when they have.=* On the oth- 
er, Ihouffh butter and »nilk were poured over the 
dish that wat? so delicious to the palate of Abdalmelick, 
I Jo not reae nber to have ever read, that they pour it 
over those small roasted bits of meat which the Arabs 
present to stranijers.f 

Ija Roque*s accoiuit of them in a following chapterj is, 
that the Arabs seldom eat roasted meat ; that sometimes^ 
at the emirs, they roasted lambs and kids whole, not goats 
as the English translation renders it ; and as for mutton or 
beef, they cut it into small pieces, about the bigness of a 
walnut, salt and pepper them, then, having put them on 
iron skewers of a foot long, they roast them over a small 
charcoal fire, and serve them np with chopped onions. 
Le Bruyn mentions the onion used by the Eastern people 
in roasting their beef, and says they cut the meat into little 
biis, sticking them on a little spit, with a slice of onion 
between each, which renders them extremely delicate. (j 
Russell speaks of the roasting meat 'n these little bits as 
the common way at Aleppo; and Pococke in Egypt, 
where they are called kabobs, or kababs. 

We may perhaps have wondered how Abraham came 
to think of killing a calf, for the entertainment of strangers 
that onlv proposed to stop for a short refreshment; but 
the custom of roasting and seething meat in very small 
pieces, made it appear a much more practicable thing to 
Abraham than it may have done to us when we have read 
the passage. § 

* "Butter, " says Dr Russell, MS. note, " is seldom or ever eaten with 
bread as we do in England ; but it serves for the rice or for fryliig of eggs. 
It is served very expeditiously in platters niatle of cowdung." Edit. 

f They very commonly pour lebaii over their roast meat. I have not 
observed, says Dr Russell, that butter is ever set down by itself. Lebaa 
indeed is often put over every thing, as roast lamb or kid. Edit. 

t Chap. xiv. II Tom. i. p. 427. 

§ In this case we may consider the whole family as partaking of the 
feast in compliment to the etrangers. Edit. 


The Arabs however do not do fhis in common, and oft- 
en in such cases content themselvffs with presenting to 
their guests a cold collation ; nor indeed do they oHen kill 
a calf in those countries, the Turks esteeming it a folly, 
and indeed a sin, according (o iMaillet,* to an animal so 
small, which may be at its full growth of such value : both 
circumstances concur to prove the ^reat liberality of 

We have had occasion before io remark, that the East- 
ern people bake their bread as they want it : this account 
teaches us that they kill their cattle in like manner, just 
before they eat them, the strangers arriving before their 
creatures die that are to afford them food. That old Puritan 
author was very unlucky therefore, in his declamation 
against the plentiful way of living of our English bishops, 
in citing Ahimelecli's being without any other bread than 
the shew bread, when David asked him for an immediate 
supply of provisions. Abraham was without bread or 
meat when these visitants catne to him, yet Abraham 
was very rich, long before this, in cattle, in silver, and in 
gold. Gen. xiii. 2. It was the custom of the country 
merely that occasioned thi^:. 

This observation then teaches us, that it is most proba- 
ble that Ockley's account of tlie butter and milk Abra- 
ham presented to the angels is wrong; and it gives the 
reader an account of the sinall pieces in which the East- 
ern people stew and roast their meat, which is supposed 
in this story concernina; the Patriarch, 




All roasted meat is a delicacy among the Arabs, and 
rarely eaten by them, according to la Roque ; stewed 

* Let. 9. 
TOt. U. 10 

i4 UELVIING TO 'niBIlt DIET, i^c. 

meal also is, acconJin^ to him, only to be met with among 
ihem at feasis, and great tables, such as those of princes,"^ 
and conseqjrenllj a delicacy also: the common diet being 
only boiled meat, with rice pottage and pillaw. 

This is agreeable to Dv, Pococke's account of an ele- 
gant entertainment lie met with at Baalbeck, where he 
tells us they had for supper a roasted fowl, pillaw, stewed 
meat, with the soup, &c.f and of a grand supper prepared 
for a great man of Egypt, where he was present, and 
which consisled, he t^lls us, of piliaw, a small sheep boil- 
ed whole, a lamb roasted in the same manner, roasted 
iovvl^, and many dishes of stewed meat in soup, &c.J 

Tliissoup in which the stewed meat is brought to table, 
or something \eiy much like it, was, we believe, the broth 
that Gideon presented to the Angel, whom he took for a 
mere mortal messenger of God. Many a reader may 
have wondered why he should bring out his broth, they 
niay Iiave been ready to think it would have been better 
to have kept tliat within, and have given it to the poor 
after the supposed prophet, whom he desired to honor, 
should be withdrawn, but these passages explain it : the 
broth, as our trau^lutors express it, was, I imagine, the 
stewed savoury meat he had prepared, with such sort of 
liquor as the Eastern people at this day, bring their stew- 
ed meat in, to the most elegant and honorable tables. 

What then is meant by the flesh put into the basket, 
Judg.K vL 19 ? And Gideon went in, and made ready a kid, 
and unleavened cakes of an ephah ofjiour : Ihejiesh he put 
in a basket, and he put tlie broth in a pot, and brouglitit 
out to him under the oak^ and presented it. The preceding 
quotations certainly do not decypher this perfectly ; but I 
have been inclined to think, there is a passage in Dr. Shaw 
that entirely unravels this matter, and aiTords a perfect 

* Voy. dans la Pal. p. 107, 198. f Vol. ii. p. 113. 

t Vol.i. p. 57. Dr. R. says, the broth ^JJ^ Shoorba is usiuilly the first 
tiling brought to table, pillaiv the last. The stewed meat is done witli 
gourds, He and with sauces of various kinds. The stexved meat in soup I 
take to have been boiled ritbby, which are often so served up. Edit. 


comment on this text. It is in his preface :^ <' Besides 
a bowl of milkj and a basket of figs, raisins, or dates, which 
upon our arrival were presented to us, to stay our appe- 
tites, the master of the tent where we lodged, fetchetl us 
from his flock, according; to the number of our company, 
a kid or a goat, a lamb or a sheep, half of which was 
immediatelj seethed by his wife, and served with cusca- 
soe; the rest was made kabab, i.e. cut into pieces and 
roasted; which we reserved for oui^breakfasl or dinner 
next daj." 

May we not imagine that Gideon presenting some slight 
refreshment to the supposed Prophet, according to the 
present Arab mode, desired him to stay till he could pro- 
vide something more substantial for him; that he imme- 
diately killed a kid, seethed part of it, made kabab of 
another part of it, and when it was ready, brought the 
stewed meat in a pot, with unleavened cakes of bread 
which he had baked; and kabab in a basket for his car- 
rying away with him, and serving him for some after re- 
past in his journey ? Nothing can be more conformable to 
the present Arab customs, or a more easy explanation 
of the text; nothing more convenient for the carriage of 
the reserved meat than a light basket, so Thevenot in- 
forms us he carried his ready dressed meat with him in a 

What others may think of the passage I know not, but 
I never could, till I met with these remarks, account for 
his bringing the meat out to the Angel in a basket. 

As for Gideon's leaving the supposed Prophet under a 
tree, while he was busied in liis house, instead of intro- 
ducing him info some apartment of his habitation, and 
bringing the repast out to him there, we have seen some- 
thing of it under the last observation j I would here add, 
that not only Arabs that live in tents, and their depend- 
ants, practise it still, but those also that live in houses, 
as did Gideon. Dr. Pococke frequently observed it among 

* P. 12. t Part J, p. 162. 


the Maronifes, and was so sliuck with this conformily of 
theirs to ancient customs, that he could not forbear taking 
particular notice of it :^ Lajraen of quality and Ecclesi- 
astics, the Patriarchs and B. shops, as well as poor obscure 
Priests, thus treating their guests. f 



Their common pottage is made by cutting their meat 
into little pieces, and boiling them with rice, flour, and 
parsley, all which is afterward poured into a proper ves- 
sel. This in their language is called Shoorba.J 

Parsley is used in^this Shoorba, and a great many other 
herbs in their cookery. || These are not always gathered 
oJit of gardens, e^en by those that live in a more settled 
way than the Arabs : for Russell, after ha\ing given a long 
account of the garden stuiT at Aleppo, tells us, that be- 
sides those from culture, the fields afford bugloss, mallow, 
asparagus, which they use as potherbs, besides some others 
which they use in salads. 

This is the more extraordinary, as they have such a 
number of gardens about Aleppo, and will lake oflf all won- 
der from the story of one's going into the fields, to gather 
herbs, to put into the pottage of the sons of the Prophets, 
2 Kings iv. 39, in a time when indeed Ahab, and doubt- 
less some others, had gardens of herbs; but it is not to be 
supposed things Vk^ere so brought under culture as in later 

* Vol. ii. p. 06. t -'• 95, 96, lOi. i Voy. dans hi Val. p. 190. 

Ij t^arsley, says Dr. Tiussell, MS. note, is cultivated, and genoraUy spread 
on ihi; Shoorl>a. I3:indflioii, sorrel, &cc. are often used. The Shoorbu, how- 
ever, has not always pieces of flesh in it. Edit. 

§This was in a time of dearth, the gai'dens may b3 8U|!posed exhausted, 
and indeed so the fields would seem to have been, for the crecns the;v 
gntliercd were not eata'oie. Edit. 


So (he Mishnah, a book relaling"to much laler times, 
speaks of gathering herbs of the fields to sell in the mar- 
kets. =^^ 



The quanJity cf meat in this pot taae is small : and, in- 
deed, ihey eaf very little meat in the East, In ccmparii^on 
of what we do, "Bread, dlbijs, leban, bt.tier, rice, a very 
little mutton, make the ( hief of their food in the winter," 
says Dr. Rnssel!,f speaking of the common people of 
Aleppo; "as rice, bread, cheese, and fruit, do in the 

Dr. Shaw gives the like account of the abstemiousness 
of the Arabs, J and this though they have such numbers 
of cattle, that an Arab tribe, which can bring but three or 
four hundred horse into the field, shall be possessed of 
more than so many thousand camels, and triple that num- 
ber of sheep and black cattle. The Arabs, he says, rare- 
ly diminishing their florks by using them for food, but 
living chiefly upon bread, milk, butter, dales, or what 
they receive in exchange for their wool. 

The reason of this sparingness is not because animal 
food is not agreeable to them ; no! Dr. RusseU assures 
us that at Aleppo they can afford it, and dare show it, 
and are far from bein^ such abstemious people is many 
imagine those of the East to be :|1 it arises then from the 
straitness of their circumstances. And thongi] the Arabs 
abound in cattle, yet being forced to draw all the other 
conveniences of life froin the profit they make of them, 
they kill \evy few for their own use. The Israelites were 
in much the same situaiiun, great strangers to trade and 

* III tltulo Shebiith 
tP.lOS. :^ P. 169 IIP. 105. 


nianiifaclures. their patriraonj but small, as ihey were so 
numerous, and therefore Solomon might, with great pro- 
priety, describe a ruinoiislj expensive way of living by 
their frequent eating of flesh, Prov. ^xiii. 20, which in our 
country would be expressed in a \eti§ dififerent manner. 

A dinner however on herbs alone is not what the ordi- 
nary people of Aleppo are obliged to content themc^elves 
with, sparing as their way of living maybe: a thouo^ht 
that may serve to illustrate Pror. xv. 17, wiiere the con- 
trast between the repasts of the rich and the poor is de- 
signed to be strongly marked. 



These circumstances of the Israelites, however, did 
not, in any wise, forbid their indulging themselves in eat- 
ing the flesh of those wild creatures, which was then 
thought, as it is now, to be very delicious ; since the cul- 
tivating the small portion of land, that fell to the share of 
each, could by no means find them full employment; and 
only labour, besides time, was requisite for the catching 
those animals, which, when caught, could be put to no 
more profitable use, than the making their own repasts so 
much the more delicious. It is for this reason, I appre- 
hend, that Solomon made this an instance of diligence, 
Prov. xii. 27, which would never have been mentioned as 
such by any English author in our times; but, agreeably 
to this instruction of Solomon, the present Arabs fre- 
quently exercise themselves with hunting in the Holy 

There is something particular in the word ']'\T\ Charak, 
used in this passage of Solomon, it is not the word that 
is commonly used for roasting, but it signifies rather 
alncreing, as appears froui Dan. iii. 27. No author, I 

♦ Vov. dans !a Pal. p. 24r. 


ihink, gives us an account what this should mean, under- 
stood in this sense. Besides wild boars, antelopes, and 
hares, which are particularly mentioned by d'Arvieux, 
when he speaks of the Arabs as diverting themselves with 
hunting in the Holy Land, Dr. Shaw, tells us, all kinds of 
game are found in great plenty in that country r^ but I 
do not remember an account of any thing being prepared 
for food by sm^eincr, that is taken either in hunting or 
hawkins:, except hares, f which I have indeed somewhere 
read of as dressed, in the East, after this manner : an hole 
being dug in the ground, and the earth scooped out of it 
laid all round its edge, the brush wood with which it is 
filled is set on fire, the hare is thrown unskinned into the 
hole, and afterward covered up with heated earth that 
was laid round about it, where it continues till it is thought 
to be done enough, and then being brought to table, 
sprinkled with salt, is found to be very agreeable food. J 

But if Solomon refers to this, and our translation of 
Lev. xi. 6, and Deut. xiv. T, be exact, the ancient Israel- 
ites were not near so scrupulous as their posterity have 
been ; but of this we find traces in the Old Testament 
history as to other injunctions of their law. They may 
be found in 2 Chron. xxxv. 18, ch. xxxvi. 21, and more 
evidently still in Neh. viii. If. 

To these observations, relating to the hunting of the Is- 
raelites, we may add a remark from Hasselquist, who tells 
us, p. 190, that he had an excellent opportunity of seeing 
the manner in which the Arabians hunt the Capra Cervi- 
capra, near Nazareth, in Galilee. An Arab, mounting a 
swift courser, held a falcon in his hand, which he let loose 

* P. 347. 

t Unless, it may be, hedgehogs, which according to an author in the Mis- 
cell. Cur is reckoned a princely dish in Barbary, and which he says is 
singed after its throat is cut, and its spines cut off". Vol. iii. p. 389. But 
this animal must have been as unlawful to the Jews as an hare- 

^ Russell gives this account, Vol. ii.p. 158. In many parts of Eng!an(t, 
particularly in the West, the hogs are dressed in this way. Edit 


when lie s;\w the animal on (he top of a mountain. The 
falcon a( racked it from time to time, fastening; its talons 
on or nerr the throat, till the huntsman coming up, took 
it alive, and cut its thfont ; the falcon drinking the blood, 
as a reward for his labour. If the Israelites hunted an- 
ciently In this manner, this was another point in which they 
were not \erv observant of the law. Perhaps Moses, on 
account of this old Arab way of huntiu2",^:i^ht not only 
order the blood to be let out of the creatures taken in 
hunting, which the A'-abs, in this case at least, practise, 
but that it should be covered wilh dust, and not giv- 
en as food to the creatures whose assistance was wont to 
be used in hunting. 





The learned are undetermined as to the sense we are 
to put on the words transhied fatted^fowl, in the account 
that is given us of the pro\ision for Solomon's table, 1 
Kings iv. 23, the meaning of one of the original words not 
being certainly known ;*' but the pullets and the pigeons 
t)f Mohammed Ebn Toulon explain, without doubt, the 
fowls that were prepared for Nehemiah, these only being 
mentioned by Maillet in his account of the provisions of 
this E2:yptian Prince, and these the chief, and almost the 
only fowls that are mentioned on these occasions in the 
East, by other writers. f 

* CID''D13X IID'"13'^D barbiireem abtiseem, Michaelis supposes thai tliesc 
Avords. which all the versions rendei- futted foiuiy signify such creatures, 
•whether quadrupeds or fowls, as live in a wild or uiulomesticatcd state. 
Edi r. 

■\ So Pellow tells us, the provisions prepared for his wedding feast, be- 
sides wljat his brother in law gave, were a fat bullock, four sheep, two 
dozen of large lb wis, twelve dozen of young pigeons, on« hundred and fiftv 


Fowls also are still sent in the Holy Land by the peo- 
ple to their great men, for the use of their tables. So 
when the Emir Derveesh happened to come to Tartoura, 
and was disposed to pass the night in its neighbourhood, 
d'Arvieux, who was with him, observed that nothing was 
more easy than the obeying his orders, when he direct- 
ed a supper to be got ready for him, all people at Tar- 
toura being forward to bring him presents of meat, poul- 
try, game, fruit, and coffee. Voy. dans la Pal. p. 67. 

The villages of Egypt, Dr. Pococke found,f are wont 
to send in like manner provisions to their great men when 
they travel, for he observes, that those villages that hap- 
pened to be nearest the place where the Governor of Fai- 
ume stopped, in whose company he travelled, used to 
send a supper for him and his attendants. Presents of 
the like kind, or rather regular contributions of this sort, 

poun<is weight of fine flour, and fifty pounds of butter, besides honey, spices, 
&c. all which, his wedding holding three days, was fairly consumed, with a 
great deal of mirth and friendly satisfaction, p. 73. So, though fiussell 
speaks of the turkey, goose, and duck, as used at Aleppo for food, besides 
the hen kind and pigeons ; and, after mentioning water hens, water rails, 
wild geese, wild duck and n^allard, several kinds of widgeon, coots, spoon- 
bills and teal, adds, with which the tables of the Europeans are plentifully 
supplied, and some eaten by the natives in winter, vol. ii p. 193, yet I do 
not remember to have observed any of them taken notice of by Dr. Pococke. 
or other writers that give us an account of the Eastern collations they were 
present at.* It may not, however, be improper to observe, that according 
to Albertus Aquensis, Gesta Dei per Francos, p. 285, an Eastern Patriarch 
sent t© Godfrey, afterward king of Jerusalem, and the other princes that 
besieged that city, besides pomegranates and rich wine, fatted peacocks. 
The curious will do well to consider, whether the fatten barburim of Solo* 
mon mean fowls of this sort; and whether the term may be supposed to 
give any intimation of the country from whence they were originally 
brougVit. D'Herfeelot mentions two different countries called Barbary by 
the people of the East, the one on the coast of the XJediterranean, com- 
monly known by that name ; the other, which he calls the tUhiopic Bur' 
bary, lies on the Ethiopic Ocean, between the Red Sea and Mozambique, 
near a gulf which Ptolemy calls Sinus Barbaricus. 

* Dr. llussell observes, MS. note, that game is very seldom brought to 
Mohammedan tables; and when brought, not being dressed as in Europe, 
may be easily mistaken by a traveller. On this account, Dr. Pococke and 
other writers may not have perceived it, even when it was a part of their 
fkre. Edit. 

t Vol. i. p. 56. 

TOIi. II. 11 


is undoubtedly what Nehemiah refers (o, when he sajs 
of his predecessors, (hat they had been chargeable to the 
people, and had taken of them bread and whie, besides 
shekels of silver ; whereas he kept as bountiful a table 
as any of (hem at his own expense, and then mentions the 
ox, the six sheep, the fowls, and the wine. 



As the Arabs serve up the things they intended for 
their guests all at once,^ so Olearius gives us to under- 
s(and it is also the Persian custom, and that the viands 
are distributed by a domestic, who takes portions of di- 
vers sorts out of the large dishes in which they are sev- 
erally served up, and lays four or five different kinds of 
meat in one smaller dish ; these are set, furnished after 
this manner, before thos€ whom they entertain: one of 
these smaller dishes being placed before two persons on- 
ly, or at most three. f The same practice obtains, he 
tells us, at the royal table itself.J 

This is not the custom at Aleppo. There, among the 
great, the several dishes are brought in one by one ac- 
cording to Dr. Russell, II the company eating a little of 
each, after which they are removed. § The modern man- 
agement of the Eastern people then, in their entertain- 
ments, are not similar ; they might not be so anciently. 
May we not then suppose, that the ancient Egyptians 
treated their guests in a manner a good deal resembling 
the way cf the modern Persians? What else was the hon- 
or done to Benjamin, in making his mess five times larger 

•» Voy. dans la Pal. p. 128. f P- ^72. i P. 710. |) Vol. i. ITS. 

§ Egmoiit and Heyman observed the same thing, in an entertainment 
given the English Ambassador by the Grand Vizier in a plain near Con- 
stantinople ; after the first course was removed, thirty dishes of roastet^ 
fowls, partridges, &cc. were successively served up. Vol. i. p. 218. 


thaa those of his brethren ? Gen. xliii. 34. Each man 
had, doubtless, enough, and to spare, answerable to the 
magnificence of the person that entertained them, and the 
having five times more than the rest could have been of 
no advantage to him ;^ unless we suppose enough was set 
before him of each sort of provision for his complete re- 
past, in case he should prefer any one to the rest ; or else 
that a much greater variety was set before him than be- 
fore his brethren, ten or fifteen different things being 
placed before him, it may be, while two or three only were 
set before the others. f 

Every circumstance of this old Egyptian entertainment 
seems to agree with Olearius's account of the Persian, 
and, in particular, their being placed in a row on one side 
of the room, none being opposite to them ; which Olearius 
remarks in his account, and which, with a distinct dish be- 
ing placed before each of them with different kinds of 
food, seems to have been what occasioned that marvelling 
the sacred historian mentions, Gen. xliii. 33, rather than 
any thing else; they being wont, instead of this variety, 
solemnity, and order, to eat in a confused huddled way 
of one single dish, a good deal, we may believe, like those 
Arabs dining on the borders of the Nile, who attracted 
the attention of le Bruyn : " They sat on the ground," 
says he, "and had in the middle of them a large wooden 
dish of milk, into which they dipped by turns their hands, 
supping the milk afterward out of them. "J Such a con- 

* What is added to this Observation, in this edition, will however show 
that Sir J. Chardin apprehends this is what was meant. 

t This would be agreeable to Sir Thomas Roe's chaplain's account of a 
great entertainment, at which he was present in India. The Ambassador, 
he tells us, had more dishes by ten, and he less by ten, than their enter- 
tainer had, who was the Great Mogul's brother in law, yet that he, (he chap- 
lain, himself had for his part fifty, p. 408. Here we see the distinctioa 
made by the number of dishes set before each. The reader will judge for 
himself, which is the most natural sense to put on the account of the sacred 
historian, that Benjamin's mess was five times as much ai any of his breth- 

:»Tora. i. p. 586. 


frasf between the solemnity and order, being to sit down 
according to their age, and their common confused way 
of eating; and between this variety and sumptuousness, 
and their mean repasts ; was enough to produce astonish- 
ment, and much more easily accounts for it, than the sup- 
posing Joseph ranged them in order, and that bis breth- 
ren imagined he did it by divination, as some coramenta- 
to!s have done."^ 

Sir J. Chardin has a note on this account of Joseph's 
entertainment, which will be a pleasing addition to what I 
have been saying; as it confirms and enlarges the account 
I before gave. "1 see, in these verses,'* says his MS. 
"many customs, which are the same with those general- 
ly practised through all the East. They do not in com- 
mon fnake use of a table, or chairs ; the floors of the houses 
are covered with mats, pieces of felt, or carpets. Among 
those who are at all opulent, there are, besides, embroi- 
dered or stitched coverings four feet broad, and cushions 
placed against the wall to lean upon. All these things 
are embroidered with gold, among people of quality. 
When the provisions are served up, they spread a cloth 
whose breadth and length is proportioned to the hall when 
it is full of people, and smaller when there are fewer per- 
sons ; at the same time they serve up the provisions, be- 
ginning with the bread. In Turkey all eat together, and 
many out of one dish; and I apprehend the Turks do not 
consider it as forbidden and unlawful to eat with people 
of a different religion, &c. but it is otherwise in Persia, 
in Arabia, and in the Indies; all the people of these coun- 
tries abhor one another so much, except the Christians, 
that they would think themselves defiled, and made im- 
pure, by being touched by people of a different failh, or 
by eating out of the same dish. It is for this reason, I 
am of opinion, that they are wont to serve up every one's 
food by itself. A carver parts each dish, which, he ob- 
serves in the margin, is set before the master of the house, 

• Vide Poll Syn. in loc. 


or the principal gnest, or in the middle of the hall, into 
as many portions, put into different plates, as there are 
people to eat, which are placed before them. There are 
some houses where they place several plates in large 
salvers, either round, long, or square, and they set one 
of these before each person, or before two or three per- 
sons, according to the magnificence of each house. The 
great men of the state are always by themselves, and 
with greater profusion, their part of each kind of provi- 
sion being always double, treble, or a larger proportion of 
each kind of meat, in the feasts that are made for them. 
We now shall be better able to conceive of the order of 
the feast Joseph made for his brethren: when it is said 
in the .33d verse, that they set before him, it signifies that 
Joseph sat at ihe upper end of the hall, his brethren at 
the lower end, and the Egyptians by the sides. As for 
Benjamin's mess, being five times as much as any of his 
brethren's, which is mentioned in the 34th verse, it may 
be understood to mean that he had five times as much of 
every thing as they ; or that the vessel in which he was 
served was five larger: but the first notion agrees 
best with the customs and management of the East." 



The eating at courts is of two kinds: the one public 
and solemn, the other private : might not the intention of 
those passages, that speak of a right to eat at a royal 
table, be to point out a right to a seat there when the 
repast was public and solemn ? 

Sir John Chardin understood it after this manner. So 
when dying king David directed his son Solomon, to 
show kindness to the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, and 
to let them be of those that should eat at his table, he 
tells us in a note in his MS, that this was to be understood 


of (he majilis,* not of the daily and ordinary repast there. 
Now at these majilis, he observes, many perbons have a 
right to a seat, others have a right there from special 
grace, and extraordinarily. In this passage we are to 
understand their receiving a right to attend at those times. 

He understands 2 Kings xxv. 28, 29, after the same 
manner, as signifying Evil Merodach's placing Jehoiakim 
at the majilis before other princes. Thus in his corona- 
tion of Solyman III. he describes a young captive Tartar 
prince, as admitted by the king of Persia to his majilis, 
p. 116. 

This notion seems to be confirmed by David's not 
being expected at the table of Saul till the day of the 
new moon, and his being looked for then, 1 Sam. xx. 25. 

To which I would add, that understanding things after 
this manner removes embarrassments from what is said 
concerning Mephibosheth, in 2 Sam. ix. Though he 
was to eat at all public times at the king's table, yet he 
would want the produce of his lands for food at ofher 
times. It was very proper also for David to mention to 
Ziba the circumstance of his being to eat at all public 
times, as one of his own sons, at the royal table, that 
Ziba might understand it would be requisite for him to 
bring the produce of the lands to Jerusalem ; and that in 
such quantities too, as to support Mephibosheth in a 
manner answerable to the dignity of one that attended at 
public times at court. Thou shall bring in the fruits 
that thy master's son may have food to eat : and, for 
that, I apprehend, is the particle our translators should 
have made use of, not hut, Mephibosheth, thy master's 
son, shall eat bread always at my table, 2 Sam. ix. 10. 
Thus, along with his admission to the royal assembliesj 

* This word occurs several times in his coronation of Solyman III. and is 
explained as signifying an assembly of lords, or a public feast. 

The original Arabic word ^^jJL^Vo majtis, signifies an assembly ^ con- 
vention, conference^ council. It is the common term both in Persian and 
Arabic by which Buoh meotings as those above, are expresscfl. Edit. 


considerable pensions were assigned the young Tartar 
prince for his maintenance, by the king of Persia, accord- 
ing to Sir J. Chardin. 



The Eastern princes, and the Eastern people, not only 
invite their friends to feasts, but it is their custom to send 
a portion of the banquet to those that cannot well come 
to it, especially their relations, and those in a state of 

This is the account the MS. C. gives us, in a note on 
a passage of the Apocrypha, 1 Esdr. ix. 51. It is equally 
applicable to Neh. viii. 10, 12, and Esth. ix. 19, 22. This 
sending of portions to those for ivhom nothing was pre- 
pared has been understood, by those commentators I 
have consulted, to mean the poor; sending for portions 
however to one another, is expressly distinguished in 
Esth. ix. 22, from gifts to the poor. There would not 
have been the shadow of a difficulty in this, had the 
historian been speaking of a private feast, but he is de- 
scribing a national festival, where every one was supposed 
to be equally concerned: those then /or whom nothing 
was prepared, it should seem, means those that were in a 
state of mourning. Mourning for private calamities being 
here supposed to take place of rejoicing for public con= 

But it is not only to those that are in a state of mourn- 
ing that provisions are sometimes sent ; others are hon- 
ored by princes in the same manner, who could not con- 
veniently attend to the royal table, or to whom it was sup- 
posed not to be convenient. 

So when the grand emir found it incommoded Mon- 
sieur d'Arvieux to eat with him, he complaisantly de- 
sired him to take his own time for eating, and sent him 


what he liked, from his kitchen, and at the time he 
chose.* And thus, when king David would needs sup- 
pose, tor secret reasons, too well known lo himself, that 
it would be inconvenient for Uriah lo continue at the 
royal palace ; and therefore dismissed him to his own 
house ; there followed him a mess of meat from the king, 
2 Sam. xi. 8, 10. 



The women do not eat with the men, in the Eastern 
feasts: they, however, are not forgotten ; it being usual 
for them to feast, at the same time, by themselves. 

So at the same time that Ahasuerus feasted the men, 
the sacred historian tells us, Vashti the queen made a 
feast for the women, in the royal house, Esth. i. 9. The 
MS. C. tells us, this is the custom of Persia, and of all the 
East : the women have their feasts, at the same time, but 
apart from the men. 

And . thus Maillet, after having given a most pompous 
and brilliant account of the extraordinary feasting at the 
castle of Grand Cairo, upon the circumcision of the 
sons of the Bashaw of Egypt, tells us at the close, that 
"he was assured that the expense, which was incurred at 
the same time in the apartments of the women of the Ba- 
shaw, was not much less considerable than what appeared 
in public ; there being there the same liberalitiCvS, the same 
pleasures, the same abundance, the same magnificence, that 
appeared out of the apartments. "f 

It is, doubtless, for the same reason, the voice of the 
bridegroom and the voice of the bride are distinctly men- 
tioned, Jer. xxvi. 10, and in other places ; the noise of 
mirth was heard, that is, in different apartments. There 

* Voy. dans la Pal. p. 20, 21. ' f Let. x. p. 79. 


ih no feast in the East, according to Sir J. Cliardin*s ]MS.=^ 
without music and dances: certainly then they are 
not omitted in nuptial solemnities ; and their noise, I pre- 
sume, is what we are to understand by the voice of the 
bridegroom and of the bride, not their \oices personally 
considered. The modern Eastern brides we know, at 
least many of them, are the occasion of making a great 
deal of noisy mirth ; but they themselves are remarkably 

The light of the candle, mentioned by the Prophet in 
this passage, is not, 1 should apprehend, to be limited to 
nuptial solemnities, but to be considered as expressing 
joy in general. Lighte, however, were used in a very 
particular manner in their marriage festivities : this ap- 
pears from the second of the Apocryphal books ofEsdras, 
on which the MS. C. has a note that is too curious to be 
lost. " This refeis to the custom of the East, where there 
are wont to be two large wax tapers, in the chamber of 
the bridegroom, where the feast is kept, which are held 
by his godfathers, for they do not put them into candle- 
sticks, and are as high as a man. There is another of the 
like kind in the bride's apartment. '' 

I am aware that Dr. Shaw has mentioned this separation 
of the two sexes in the East in their feasts: but perhaps 
my readers may not be displeased with these additional 
accounts, especially as tiiej^ contain some circumstances 
not mentioned, I think, by him. 



The Eastern people begin to eat as soon as it is day, 
though it is but a small repast they then take. 

This appears in several places of our books of travels, 
and is expressly taken notice of by Sir J, Chardin in hU- 

* Note oa Luke xv, 25. 
VOL. II. . 12 


MS. and applied (o the illustration of a passage to whicb 
this custom has, I suppose, no relation;^' but as it may, 
possibly, bt of some use wiih respect to some other places, 
I would not oiuit setting down his remark. 

" The greatest part of ihe people of the East eat a little 
morsel as soon as the day breaks, but it is very little they 
then eat, a little cake, or a mouthful of bread ; drinking 
a dish or two of coffee. This is very agreeable in hot 
countries; in cold, people eat more."f 

If this was customary in Judea, we are not to under- 
stand the words of the Levite's father in law. Judges xix. 
J, Comfort thine heart with a morsel of bread, and af- 
terward go your wai/f which are nearly repeated, ver. Sy 
as signifying stay and breakfast, that is done, it seems, ex- 
tremely early; but the v^ords appear to mean, stay and 
dine: the other circumstances of the story perfectly 
agree with this account. J 




Abstaining from wine and from rich food is no injury 
to the complexion, or health, of people in those countries : 
what is said therefore of the effects of the abstemiousness 
of Daniel and his companion3,(| might be nothing extraor- 
dinary and out of the common course of things. 

* Psalm xc. 14. 

f Among the poet Sady's JMaximSy we find the following: ** A wis* 
man said to hi3 son, Never leave the house in the morning till thou hast 
eaten something, for this lias a tendency to forlif) the mind : and then 
shnuldst thou be insulted by any person, thou wilt find thyself more dis- 
posed to sulfur patiently ; for hunger dries up and disorders the brain." As 
this is one of their maxims, we need nut wonder at the custom founded on 
it, which, for various reasons, should be observed by those of ihe West, as 
well as by the inhabitants of the East. Edit. 

i: The drinking coffee is never t%icemQ(\ breakfastmg ; for they drink 
ooffec at any time of the night. Edit. 

(| Dan. i. 15 . 


So Sir J. Chardin observes, *• that without considering 
whether there was anything miraculous In the case of 
Daniel, it is true, and I have remarked this, that the coun- 
tenances of the Kechichs are in fact more rosy and smooth 
than those of others, and that these, who fast much, 1 
mean the Armenians and the Greeks, are notwithstandina; 
very beautiful, sparkling with health, with a clear and 
lively countenance. He afterward takes notice of the 
very great abstemiousness of the Brahmans in the Indies, 
who lodge on I he ground, abstain from women, ^^ from music, 
from all aorts of agreeable smells, who go very meanly 
clothed, are almost always wet, either by going into water, 
or by rain, &c. yet I have seen also many of them very 
handsome and healthful." 

There is no necessity then of supposing any thing mi- 
raculous in the case of Daniel and his associates ; or that he 
apprehended a divine interposition requisite to save Mei- 
zar from the displeasure of the king : he knew the salutary 
effects of great temperance, and he did not apprehend 
they would be less, when united with religious care, not 
to incur any pollutions forbidden by the law of his ances- 
tors ; and he was not mistaken as to the event. It h 
very possible a little more aijstemiousness in European 
courts would be no injury to the complexion, the health, 
or the sagacity of those that execute offices there, or are 
expecting great employments. 



The people of the East frequently place their dishes 
of food on mats, and I should imagine they did so in the 
days of Job. 

That they place thera on mats now, appears from 
d'Arvieux's account of the supper the inhabitants of a 

* He says, they are first maiTied, and have one child, and then leave 
iheir wives. 


village ill Palestine prepared for him, which, it seemSj 
consisted of fried fish, egg>, rice, &c. placed upon a mat, 
or, as he expresses it, a round table made of straw stitched 

I have met with the same circumstance in other txav- 

Perhaps this custom is as ancient as the time of Job, 
and that there is a reference to it in those words, ch. xli. 
20, Out of his nostrils goeth smoke as out of a dud and 
an agmon. Our translators render these two words, a 
seetliing pot and ^ caldron ; -f but this last word every 
where else is translated a rushy or a bulrush, excepting 
Job xli. 2, where the English word is hook. No mortal 
can conceive, I apprehend, any relation between these 
things and a caldron, but there is a xevy plain one be- 
tween a rush and a mat, which is defined, "a texture of 
sedge, flags, or rushes. "J Another kindred word, de- 
rived from the same root, signifies a jjool, where such 
plants as the things that conipose a mat grow. 

I am inclined therefore to believe the word agmon 
signifies a mat, from which, covered with various dishes 
of hot food, a great steam ascended. 

It is certainly ranch more natural to translate the word 
agmon by the word mat than caldron, and perhaps 
rather more natural than to understand the comparison 
as some have done, of the mist that arises from low^ lands 
in general, which is by no means limited to pools of water, 
which the word is supposed to signify. 

The word dud seems to have been translated, with as 
little probability, seething pot, since it appears, frouj Jcr. 
xxiv. 2, to signify a vessel proper for the putting figs in; 
and cla}', according to Psalm Ixxsi. 6. But what it pre- 

• Voy. dans la Pal. p. 23, and p. 1C8. 

•J- |7DjN1 ni3J '^'^'^'^ kedudndfiltnnchveagmon. Not " these /zt-a words," 
/or ni33 naphiiach is the term ivhich ihcy render seething. Tliis criti- 
cism of Mr. M;>rmcr will not he luund very s;;tit.raclf)ry hy inost of our 
re;idcrs. I'd it. 

i Jolin'on'5 Diet. 


cisely signifies rriaj be very difficult to determine. .1 
shall however have occasion to resume the consideration 
of the diid, under the next Observation. 



It may be difficult also, after all that can be done, to 
inake out the precise meaning of several of the terms 
used to denote the utensils of the ancient Jews, for pre- 
paring their food, 8cc. but the affair has been rendered 
jEiill more obscure, by our translators varying so extremely 
in their translations of those terms; and though this mat. 
ter may seem to be of little consequence, curiosity is 
always concerned in unravelling things of this kind, 
and sometimes it may be of a litlle importance, for the 
.due understanding a passage. 

Our translators sometimes use one English word, to 
translate several Hebrew terms, which seem to be made 
use of to denote vessels of a very different kind from 
each other. So the word cruse, which, according to Dr, 
Johnson, in his Dictionary, signifies a small cup, is given 
us as a translation of three different Hebrew terms, of 
which not one seems to mean a small cup,"^ but one a 
pitcher, nnsi' ; anolher a dish, nn*?!* ; and a third, a honey 
pot, pnpn. 

At other times, on the contrary, they translate one and 
the same Hebrew word by different English terms. So the 
word nnb'ii t::allachafh, ov n'nh): iselochith, is translated 
cruse, 2 Kings ii. 20; dish, 2 Kings xxi. 1.3; pan, 2 
Chron. xxv. 13: and in the two similar places of Prov- 
erbs, ch. xix. 24, and ch. xxvi. 15, bosom, j It is used, 

*' Tlie iliree following v oi (Is i\re translated ci/p in our version : J.''3J ge- 
beea, ']30 sapap, 0^^ kus. Edit. 

fin tlie two parallel places in Proverbs there is an allusion to the man- 
ner of catinjf among the Orientals. Edit. 


that is, in distinct passages, but four limes in (he Scrip- 
tures, and a distinct English term is each lime made use 
of. The word should, 1 apprehend, have been translated 
dish invariably in all the four places. 

Ours are, however, not the only translators guilty of 
this inattention; those of the Septuagint version are as 
faulty ; but still it is the occasion of great confusion, and 
as it may be agreeable, to some readers at least, to en- 
deavour to disembroil these things as far as we can, I 
would here set down such remarks as have occurred to 
me, as I do not know any place in this work where they 
could be brought in with greater propriety. 

The utensils of the Arabs then, who retain ancient 
usages more than any other nation, and who content 
themselves with the necessaries of life, are, according to 
•authors, as follow : bowls, a pot, a kettle,"^ a small band- 
mill, some pilchers, with goal's hair sacks, trunks and 
hampers covered with skin, for the remo\ing their goods,f 
leather bottles, J dishes, [| with great jars for keeping their 
corn, according to Norden.§ 

It appears from Plaistead, describing his journey over 
a prodigious desert, where they were obliged to bring 
their conveniencies into a very narrow compass, that two 
or three kinds of leather bottles are used in such a situa- 
tion : one very large, for the reception of a jrreat quan- 
tity of liquor, which he calls skins; and smaller vessels 
of leather, which he calls bottles; the smallest sort of all 
he distinguishes by the particular name of matarras.^ 

Sephel b£3D or saph ^)i is the Hebrew word, I should 
apprehend, for the first of these utensils, or bowls. I 
say sephel, or saph, because it appears to me not improb- 
able, that not only the same utensil is meant in those 
places where these two words are found, but that the 
original design was to express a bowl by one. word only, 
and not to make use of two in so scanty a language. As 

' Shaw p. 231. t Voy. dans la Pal. ch. xii. i P. 195. |J P. 199. 
§Vol.ii. p. 119. ^ P. 30, 


the Hebrew writings are now divided into words, sephel 
undoiibledlj signifies an Arab bowl, for it expresses that 
utensil that Jael, who was of an Arab family, and lived 
ill tents as they do, made use of, when she presented biit- 
terjtiiik to Si-jera, Judges v. 25. It appears no where 
el»e, ! think, but in Judges vi. 38, where it signifies a 
vessel proper for squeezing water into. But were we 
now to divi(!e an ancient Hebrew copy of this book, 
written according to the ancient manner, without any 
di\ision, even into words, I do not see why we may not 
form a word in ihese two places by the two first letters, 
writing the third letter, b lamed, with the succeeding 
ones. Lamed ^, according to Noldius, is used sometimes 
to give the construction of an adjective to the word to 
which it is prefixed, so ]nj*^ h'hy^ badleel laarcls, Ps. xii. 
6, is d furnace of earth, or an earthen vessel proper for the 
purification of silver; in like manner, if, instead of writing- 
blamed with the word which signifies bowl, we should 
join it lo the following word, it would equally signify, in 
Judges v. 25, lordly bowl, and in Judges vi. 88, 7vater 
bowl, as in the present way of placing the letters, only 
the word v^ould be saph instead o^ sepheL 

However, supposing the present division perfectly au- 
thentic, the words sephel and saph are so near each other, 
that since sephel signifies bowl, such as the Arabs use, I 
shoidd apprehend saph might signify the same kind of 
vessel. It is certain there is nothing in the six places, in 
which it is used, that opposes such an interpretation. =^ 

* Jars and pitchers for fetching water for numbers of people, and for 
drinking^ out of, bowls for kneading their bread, and afterward for eating 
Out of, must have been most necessary to the people that attended king 
David to Mahaiiaim, and consequently the first probably were the earthen 
vessels brought to them ; and the bowls being of wood or copper tinned, 
were what our version calls basins. The Septu;tgint talks of potSt which 
also v/ere very necessary, but not so much so as botvls. These, however, 
most pn.bably, were sent, being so necessary for preparing their food, 
though they are not particularly mentioned. So wine, without doubt, was 
furnished by them with the other provisions, though tliis is not expressly 
said. To this is to be added, that the copies the Septuagint translated from, 
seem, iu this place, to have been somewhat different from those we have, 


Seer, ro from a collation of all the passages in wbich it 
occurs, seems to mean the Arab pot for boiling meat. It 
appears, bv a circumstance mentioned 2 Kings iv. 3i), to 
have been made of different sizes ; but should never, I im- 
agine, have been translated caldron^ as it sometimes is in 
our version. The vessel used for removing ashes, men- 
tioned Esod. xx\ ii. 3, and some of the vessels used about 
the sacred candlestick, or the altar of incense, seem to 
have received their denomination from their being in form 
like their seething pots. 

Kallachath nnhp h the word that seems to mean the 
kettle of the Arabs, such a great utensil as those in which 
they sometimes stew a whole lamb or kid. It is found 
only in two places of Scripture : Mic. iii. 3, 1 Sam. ii. 14. 

Dishes or plates, are conveniencies that the Arabs them- 
selves have ; and Plaistead, when he proposed to reduce 
the number of travelling utensils, recommends copper 
plates, as well as sneakers or bowls, p. 34: I have already 
observed, that tzelochith, or tzallachath, seems to be the 
Hebrew term for this utensil. Our translators render the 
word dish, in one place, 2 Kings xxi. 13; but by three 
different words, in the other places. See p. 93. 

Cad nD I have shown, in a distinct article of this chap- 
ter, signifies that great y«r in which they keep their corn, 
and sometimes fetch their water. 

Nebel bUJ means, I apprehend, an earthen vessel not 
Very unlike the preceding, in which they keep their wine. 
Voyage writers, I think, frequently call them jars; but 
as the Hebrew gives ns a different term for those vessels, 
it must be right to appropriate an English term to this 
kind of vessels. The translator of the Arabian Nights 
Entertainments denominates such a \essel a jug, and per- 
haps we cannot find a better. Our version generally ren- 
ders it a bottle, a term which, I doubt, neither answers 
its shape, nor excites a proper idea of the quantity of wine 
that such a vessel contains: in one place. Lam. iv. 2, it 
is translated pitcher ; and in another place by the general 
terra vessel. 


Nod nu occurs five or six times, and is always translat- 
*3d bottle in our version ; but certainly differs much from 
the last mentioned utensil, which was an earthen vessel, 
this, one of leather ; it agrees with it in }3eing of large 
capacity, used, it seems, for churning, as well as for wine ; 
whereas, there are small leather bottles, called matarras, 
according to Plaistead.^ Bottle then does not seem to 
be so proper a translation, nor even leather bottle; and 
what would be a proper term is difficult to say, as we 
have no such vessel, I think, in England. Piaistead calls 
them skins, and Maundrell goats' skins ;f and either of 
these terms would do very v/ell to translate the passages 
of Scripture by in common, in which the word jiod occurs ; 
but what shall we say to Psalm Ivi. G? shall we translate 
if, Thoii tellest my wanderings ; put thou my tears in 
thygoaVs skin.? lYouldit not sound still worse, pnf thou 
my tears in thy skin? The term makes out God's not 
snffering his rears to fall unnoticed ; and it involves in it 
the notion of the large quantities his afflictions forced from 
him ; but it is extremely difficult to find one single w^ord 
which would be applied, with propriety, to all the passa- 
ges in which the Hebrew word appears. 

Chemeth nnn one would imagine, means a smaller vessel 
of leather, for the holding liquors, larger however, per- 
haps, than the modern matarras, matarah, since one of 
them filled with water, was, so hr as we know, all the 
liquid provision Hagar and I?h[»iael had when they went 
into the wilderness, Gen. xxi. The other threej passages, 
in whicii we meet with the word, seem also to involve in 
them the notion of a ccnsidiirable quantity, though very 
much short of a goat skin full. 

* The Persian word is ^*^ matomhy and signifies a flexible leather 
flrinking bottle, or cup used by travellers. Edit. 

J P. 29. " He brought us the next day, on his own back, a kid, and a 
goat's skin of wine, as a present from the convent." 

t tlos. Til. 5, 1-Jab. ii. 15, and Job xxi. 20. 
VOL. 11, 13 


Pitcher often appears in our version, but tzappackatk 
nna:^ is Ihe Hebrew term, I apprehend, that properly de- 
notes what we mean by a pitcher, though our translators 
always render it cruse^ which, it seems, signifies a small 
cup, or perhaps a cruet; but neither of those terms, one 
would think, accurately expresses the meaning of the 
word : a small cup would not be a proper vessel for the 
keeping oil in, and a cruet is not of a capacity to contain 
water enough for the refreshmerrt of a prophet, faint with 
jojirneying in an Eastern desert. As a pitcher answers 
all uses, a tzappachath appears to have been put to, so it 
is the vessel, on the outside of which, when made suf- 
ficiently hot, the Arabs bake one species of their bread,^ 
and fzappichath signifies a wafer, or thin cake, made with 
honey, Exod. xvi. 31. 

Cehib 2)bD seems to signify a basket not wrought close^ 
but like a cage, for it apparently signifies a cage, or coopj 
Jer. V. 27 ; and was very proper for cucumbers and mel- 
ons, and such large fruits, which were too big to slip out 
between the twigs ; and accordingly we find the celub was 
used for suoimer fruits, Amos viii. 1, 2. 

Diid 1)1 mentioned under the preceding Observation, I 
am inclined to think, signifies on the contrary a close 
wrought basket. It is very variously translated in our 
version: basket, Jer. xxiv. 2; kettle, 1 Sam. ii. 14; pot. 
Job xli. 20; and caldron, 2 Chron. xxxv. 13. Accord- 
ing to Psalm. Ixxxi, the dud was used by the Israelites in 
their Egyptian labours, and though we translate the word 
there j;o^9, it should seem to mean baskets; and so Sir 
J. Chardin in his MS. note on the place, supposes them 
to be baskets, in which, he tells us, "the Eastern people 
pnt their mortar, instead of those wooden hods used by 
masons in our country. "f If they use baskets for thi3 
purpose, they must be close wrought, or the mortar would 

* Voy. dans la Pal p. 192, 193. 

t This is also Uie custom in (.'hina : a close wrought basket of bamboo, 
with the handle hung over the arm, is the substitute there for a hod* 


drop through ; and this seems to be (he circumstance that 
distinguished it from ihe celub. No body will find any 
difficulty in supposing that an utensil of this kind might be 
proper for putting figs in, Jer. xxiv. 2 ; or human heads, 
2 Kings X. 7. But it may be thought a very strange vessel 
for meat that was cooked and hot : if, however, our transla- 
tion of Judges vi. 19, be right, it was by no means abhorrent 
from their manners ; and, whatever be thought of that 
translation, Dr. Shaw shows, in a passage I have else- 
where quoted, baskets are now used in such circum- 

Sal bo the word there, however, may mean some light 
wooden vessel, proper for carrying bread, flesh, &c. in. 
The word signifies the vessel into which they were wont 
to gather their grapes, as appears from Jer. vi. 9 ; but 
such a vessel, which would hold the liquor draining from 
the bruised grapes, would be more proper than a basket ; 
and, if prints published in wine countries are exact, ap- 
pear to be used now for that purpose. Such a light port- 
able vessel, with a cover to be occasionally put on, must 
have been more convenient, frequently, for carrying food 
in, than wickerwork, though wrought close : soThevenot 
complains, that the sand insinuated itself into the maund 
in the desert in which he travelled, and quite spoiled the 
baked meats contained in it.^ If it signifies a basket, it 
seems to mean a small one, of the close wrought kind. 

The word tena }<:p which is also translated basket^ will 
be explained in a note under the first Observation of the 
next chapter^ Great certainty, however, must not be ex- 
pected in such matters; but if the comparing (he ancient 
Jewish names for domestic utensils with (hose now in use 
in the East, be not a sure way to determine their meaning, 
we certainly have a better chance to guess right ; and it 
aflfords a pleasing amusement. 

♦Parti, p. 162. 




The Eastern people seldom drink at meals, but very 
largely after eating, and particularly of water. -^ 

After considering what they eat, it is natural to turn 
our thoughts to what they drink : and w^ater is that which 
first presents itself to the mind, of which they drink now 
large quantities, and did so anciently. 

It is the business of the females in those countries to 
fetch this necessary of life. Dr. Shaw has told us this 
ancient Oriental custom still continues in those hot coun- 
tries, and that the women, tying their sucking children be- 
hind them, fetch the water that is wanted in their families, 
in the evening; at v.hich time, he tells us, they go forth 
adorned with their trinkets :f but Sir J. Chardin has added 
some particulars further in his sixth MS. volume, which I 
am not willing to suppress. 

In the first place he supposes it is the business of young 
women. that are single to fetch the water; and that it is 
only when there arc none such in a family that married 
women perform that oiSce. This agrees with the book 
of Genesis : Rebecca had a mother at the time Abra- 
ham's servant came inio I^Iesopotamia, Gen. xxiv. 53 
yet Rebecca fetched the water, not the mother. So the 
servant supposed they were the daughters of the men of 
the city that would come cut to draw water, snd such as 
were unmarried, for ainong them he hoped to find a wife 
for Isaac. 

Secondly, he tells us, they fetch wafer in the mornings 
as well as evenings. J The heat of the sun, in the middle 

*" Voy. dans la Pal. p. 203—206. 

•\ P. 241. Shaw, says Dr. Russell, MS. note, is right: the ^/r/s go also 
for Avatcr, but seldom without one or more grown persons in company. 
The women also gather wood, sheepdung, &c. Edit. 

i And Dr. Russell remarks, AIS. note, that at these times great num- 
bers of females ave seen going together on this employment. Edit. 


of the day, makes the going to fetch water improper then ; 
but it is no wonder the cool of the morning should be made 
use of for this purpose, as well as that of the evening, since 
he represents the Eastern people as very curious as to 
the water they drink. 

I would add, that it appears from both these gentlemen, 
that there was no impropriety in the servants putting or- 
naments on Rebecca, when performing this mean oflSce ; 
the women of those countries are wont to adorn them- 
selves at such times in the best manner they are able : 
nor are we to suppose Rebecca went out without any or- 
naments of this sort, but rather, that her brother saw, with 
surprise, her meaner^ ornaments exchanged for others 
that were more pompous and valuable. f 

But though they use great quantities of water to drink 
in the Levant, fhey do not confine themselves to such a 
temperate beverage now ; and certainly the Jews did not, 
whose law did not forbid them the indulgence of wine, as 
that of Mohammed does. This we shall find presently, 
but I must first make another observation relating to water. 



They not only drink water very commonly in the East, 
but it is considered as an important part of the provisions 
made for a repast, and is sent as such to shearers and reap- 
ers in particular. 

I question not but that several pers:ons Iiave been sur- 
prised at the words of Nabal, when David sent messen- 
gers to him for some support in the wilderness. Shall 1 
then take my bread, and my water ^ and my flesh that I 

* According to Sir J. Chardin, some of llie Eastern -woraen that fetch 
vater have ornaments then upon them o^ very great value. 

t Dr. Russell, MS. note, remarks further, that ilie women never appear 
without their ornaments at their -ivrists and ancles, however employed. 


have killed for my shearers, and give unto men whom 
I know not whence they be ? 1 Sam. xxv. 1 ] . Was water 
to be prepared for shearers ? Could he think of sending 
water to David with provisions? 

Perhaps a passage from Mr. Drummond's Travels maj 
somewhat diminish the surprise : *' The men and women 
are then employed in reaping, and this operation they 
perform by cutting off the ears, and pulling up the stub- 
ble;^ which method has been always followed in the 
East: other females were busy in carrying water to the 
reapers, so that none but infants were unemployed. *'f 

An apocryphal writer represents a prophet as carrying 
pottage and bread broken in a bowl into the field to reap- 
ers ;J Mr. Drummond saw people employed in carrying 
water to such : no wonder then Nabal had provided water 
to be carried to his shearers. 



Dr. Pococke has given us an account|I of the way in 
which the ^^y of Tunis lived in 1753; not that his way 
of living differed from that of other Beys, it should seem, 
but merely as a curiosity he could present his readers 
with. After describing some soups taken by him in the 
morning, he tells us, that he was wont to dine at eleven; 
that the grandees sat near him ; that when they had eat- 
en, others sat down, and the poor took away what was 
left. His provisions were twelve sheep every day, dress- 
ed in three different manners: with a rice pillaw ; with 

* " When they pull up the corn, says Dr. R. ibid, they do not cutoff the 
ears : and when they cut down the corn, they do not pull up the stubble.'* 


t P. 216. + Bel and the Dragon, ver. 33. 

On this passage Dr. riussell, MS. note, remarks, " Undoubtedly they do 
not send water to the fields more than they do in England ; they send small 
beer." Edit. 

II Vol. i. p. 266, &CC. 


oranges and eggs ; and, thirdlj, with onions and butler. 
Besides the mutton, there was wont be cuscoosoo, which 
thej eat with the broth; and also boiled fish or fowls, 
with lemon or orange sauce. An hour before sunset they 
eat as before. 

But, besides the curiosity of this account, it may serve 
to illustrate what is said in the Scriptures of some emi- 
nent personages, and the comparing the one with the 
other gives a very sensible pleasure. The Bey of Tunis 
is not a great prince ; he is, however, at the head of a 
\ery considerable people ; yet Nehemiah seems to have 
equalled him in his way of living, his daily provision be- 
ing, besides fowls, six choice sheep and an ox. Beef is 
not now much relished by the Eastern people: they are 
ready to think it a coarse kind of food ; and Mons. Maillet 
observes^ that the great people of Egypt would think 
they dishonored themselves, if they should have it served 
up on their tables 3 and that they were always surprised 
to see it at his, who was the representative of so great a 
prince as the king of France. According to Dr. Russellp 
indeed, there begins to be a change at Aleppo, as to this 
point, among the Christian inhabitants; but the rest are 
still averse from beef. That mutton is, in the East, the 
favourite meat, all agree ; but it appears, from many pas- 
sages of Scripture, that beef, was, anciently, in high es- 
teem in Judea ; and, consequently, the having an ox every 
day was no meanness at the table ofNehemiah.f And as 
to abundance, his table must be at least equal to that of 
the Bey of Tunis. I am aware that Shaw observes, that 
the neat cattle of Barbary are very small, and that the 
fattest, when brought from the stall, weighs no more than 

^ * Lett. 11, p. 109, and Lett. 12, p. 154. 

I Notwithstanding the degrading view in which the modern Eastern peo- 
ple look upon the flesh of this animal, Maillet assures us, that its flesh is ad- 
mirable, especially in that season when the meadows are covered with ver- 
dure. That it is not surpassed by that of the oxen of Hungary, or of any 
other country. It has this excellence also, that it is extremely nourishins: 
Lett. 9, p, 27, 


five or six hundred pounds p^ howcA^er, we may reckoy 
an ox to be equivalent to six sheep at least : and there- 
fore, that Nehemiah lived, in the ruined country of Judea, 
wilh a splendor equal to that of a Bey of Tunis. 

The friend of Dr. Pococke, from whom he had his ac- 
count, did not inform him what number of persons lived 
from the Bey's table; but Maillet tells us,f tl^at a sheep, 
with a proper proportion of rice, and consequently of 
bread, will suffice threescore people : at the same rate 
twelve sheep then will serve seven hundred and twenty. 
But as the Bey had two meals a day, of much the same 
kind, his table, according to this computation, maintained, 
allowing for the fish and fowl, near four hundred people. 
This calculation agrees very well wilh the history of Ne- 
hemiah, which informs us, that he entertained those that 
came to him continually from the heathen; besides an 
hundred and fifty Jews and Rulers ; some of these had 
attendants, doubtless, and his own servants must have been 
numerous ; could they in the whole have been much fewer 
than four hundred persons ?J 

But it is to be thouglif that Eastern magnificence 
has risen much higher than this. Nehemiah and a Bey 
of Tunis were much beneath many of the princes of 
those countries; and, indeed, we find that private nobles, 
in happier times, or in more flourishing kingdoms, have 
greatly exceeded them : so Maillet, in a passage I shall 
presently cite from him, affirms, that the great lords of 

* P. 168. t Lett. 11, p. no. 

4: This pari of the history of Nehemiah, concerning the expense ofhista- 
hle, •which was defrayed out of his own \)rivate fortunes, Neh. v. 18, clearly 
explains what the excuse nneans, mentioned Is. iii. 7, so far as relates to 
bread ; but it is not so clear why the man declined being a liuler, because 
he had no quantity of clothing by him, in which the Eastern treasures an- 
cientlv very much consisted, it may signify, he had not wherewithal to 
equip his attendants, in the manner they ought to be in such a case, the 
servants of tlic great in the East being wont to be magnificently dressed ; 
or it may mean, that lie had not what might be used for making such a 
iiresent as such a station would require him to make, on several occasions. 


Egypt, who are only private persons, generally keep in 
attendance a thousand or twelve hundred persons. 

Solomon was, indisputably, the most magnificent of the 
Jewish kings, and accordingly his retinue was very nu- 
merous, and greatly exceeded that of these Egyptian no- 
bles of Maillet. What is said, 1 Kings xi. 3, puts it out 
of all manner of donbt ; but the data are hardly sufficient 
to determine how many were fed from his table. His pro- 
visions for a day were, thir'y measures of fine flour, and 
threescore of meal, ten fat oxen, twenty out of the pas- 
tures, and an liundred sheep, besides venison and fatted 
fowl: if we compare the abundance of his table wilh that 
of Nehemiah, and estimate the difference by the sheep, 
it was about seventeen times as much ; if by the beef, 
thirty times; only it is to be remem.bered, that ten only 
of Solomon's oxen were fatted, the rest being out of the 
pastures, perhaps, therefore, the proportion upon the 
whole might be twenty to one, and consequently, that 
Solomon's table fed about eight thousand persons of all 
sorts,^' wives, ministers of state, foreigners, servants, and, 
like the table of Nehemiah, the Bey of Tunis, and the 
Arab princes, the poor. 

This abundance, however, appears to have been after- 
ward exceeded in Egypt. The royal feasts of Mohammed 
Ebn Toulon,f or Mohammed the son of Toulon, Maillet 

* Mons. Voitaire's account differs very much from this. In his liaison 
par Alphabet, under tlie article -Solomon, he tells us, " they daily served 
up for the dinner and supper of his household fifty oxen and an hundred 
sheep, and fowl and game in proportion : which might amount to sixty 
thousand pounds weight of meat a day. A very plentiful tahle this!" 
Tlie Jewish Scriptures speak only of thirty oxen a dpy, and describe ten 
of them only as highly fiUted, 1 Kings iv. 23; the authentic documents from 
whence Voltaire was enabled to correct this account, making them fifty, 
as -well as the proofs we are to suppose he ha«, of the gigantic size of the 
animals of Solomon's age, are secrets he has not thought proper to divulge. 
It is certain from Dr. Russell, as well as from Shaw and Maillet, that fifty 
oxen, allowing him right in that point, many of them not very fat, would 
not weigh the half of sixty thousand pounds in our times, whatever Ihcy 
might do in the East in Solomon's days. 

t He lived about nine hundred years ago. 
VOL. II. 14 


tells US,* from the Arabian writers, were so abundant as 
to feed fourteen thousand persons, who belonged to the 
different offices of his household. The quintals of meat, 
butter and sugar, which they daily employed for the pastry- 
work alone, of which these historians, he says, give an 
exact list, were so numerous as to appear incredible. So 
also does the quantity of sheep, pullets, pigeons, and 
spices, which were daily consumed in cookery. As to 
oxen, no mention was made of them, because, as he had 
elsewhere observed, the flesh of that animal never ap- 
pears in Egypt, on the tables of people of figure. He 
goes on to inform us, that the tables of the Turks are not 
delicate, abundance serving with them instead of delica- 
cy; it being common with them to have the remains of 
what was served up for the use of a great lord, and eight 
or ten persons of his family, sufficient for the support of 
an hundred other persons, who place themselves, one after 
another on the ground about the table, cross legged, like 
taylors. " So that a dozen of these tables in different 
parts of a house, and served almost at the same time, are 
sufficient for a thousand or twelve hundred persons, that 
a Bey, or other great lord of this country, generally keeps 
in attendance." 

The number of attendants the great men of the East 
affect, the supposed magnificence of abundance of pro- 
vision, and the charity in the custom of giving what re- 
mains to the poor, all conspired to make the quantity of 
provisions consumed by these eminent personages, both 
of more ancient and of more modern times, very large. 

Ebn Toulon, as to the magnificence of his table, sur- 
passed all the other kings of Egypt, ever reckoned one of 
the richest and most fruitful countries in the world. Mail- 
let expresses astonishment at it. How magnificent then, 
considering the difference of countries, the table of Solo- 
mon ! With what royal splendor did he govern Israel ! 
exceeded only, perhaps, by an after king of a country, 

" Lett. 13, p. 154, 155. 


always looked upon as very opulent, always afFeclino; 
dignity, but far surpassing every Jewish prince in gran- 
deur, every contemporary king, without any manner of 



The magnificence of Solomon, particularly with respect 
to his drinking vessels, has not been exceeded by modern 
Eastern princes. 

They were all of gold, and it should seem of the purest 
gold, 1 Kings x. 21. The gold plate of the kings of Per- 
sia has been extremely celebrated, and is mentioned in 
Sir J. Chardin's MS. note on this passage of the sacred 
historian : be observes in that note, that the plate of the 
king of Persia is of gold, and that very fine, exceeding the 
standard of ducats, and equal to (hose of Venice, which 
are of the purest gold. 

The vessels of gold, we are told in Olearius,"^ were 
made by the order of Shah Abbas, esteemed the most 
glorious of the princes of the Sefi royal family, who died 
1629. It seems that he caused seven thousand two hun- 
dred marks of gold to be melted upon this occasion ; that 
his successors made use of it whenever they feasted stran- 
gers ; and that it consisted chiefly of dishes, pots, flagons, 
and other vessels for drinking. 

A French mark is eight of their ounces, and is but four 
grains lighter than an English ounce troy.f Abbas then 
melted on this occasion near thirtysix thousand English 
troy ounces of the purest gold, or almost fortyone three 
fourths Jewish talents. J Astonishing magnificence of 

* P. 946, 94r. f Philosophical Transactions Abridged, 

vol. vii. part iv. p. 46. 

i: For according to Bishop Cumberland, a talent weighed 3000 shekels, 
and a shekel weighed 219 grains ; now 7200 marks =27' 417.600 grains =x, 
125.194 shekels 41 talents and 2194 shekels. 


Persia ! Nor have we reason lo think that of Solomon Avas 
inferior. We may believe, sure, his royal drinking ves- 
sels were of equal weight, when the two hundred targets 
of gold which Solomon made, 1 Kings x. 16, weighed but 
little less than (he drinking vessels of Shah Abbas.* 
Sir J. Chardin's way of comparing the glory of Solomon, 
with that of a most rtlustrious monarch of Persia of late 
ages, is perhaps one of the most eflScacious methods of im- 
pressing the mind with an apprehension of the magnificence 
of this ancient Israelitish king, and, at the same time, ap- 
pears to be perfectly just. 



Horns also were made use of among the Jews for keep- 
ing some liquids, if not for drinking vessels. 

That they were wont sometimes to keep oil in a horn, 
appears from 1 Sam. xvi. 1, 13, 1 Kings i. 39 ; it may how- 
ever be amusing to hear that they are made use of still in 
some countries, which are less acquainted with the arts of 
life than many other places, as we are assured by Sir 
John Chardin's MS. they are : it is the custom, he 
tells us, of Iberia, Colchis, and the adjacent country, 
w here the arts are little practised, to keep liquors in horns, 
and to drink out of them.f 

They were doubtless originally the hollow horns of an- 
imals that were made use of; art might be afterward em- 
ployed to hollow them more perfectly, and they might in 
the days of David be shaped like horns, though made of 
silver and gold, especially vessels kept in the sanctuary. 
Such an one, I apprehend, is that horn kept in the cathe- 
dral of York, presented to it by one of onr Northern prin- 
ces, as it is supposed, about the beginning of the eleventli 

* * 120.000 slickels. 

I Thej- are used for tliis purpose in rcveral European countries. Edit 


century, of which a copper plate was not long since pub- 
lished by the Antiquarian Society."^ 

The horn of Ulphus, kept at York, has a chain fasten- 
ed to it in two places, by which it might be hung up. It 
is reasonable to believe the Eastern horns may have the 
same convenience, though Sir J. Chardin does not men- 
tion it. So there is no account of such a chain, in the de- 
scription that is given us in the Philosophical Transac- 
tions Abridged, vol. v. pt. ii. p. 131, 132, as fixed to the 
horn of gold, or to the Oldenburg horn of silver, in the 
royal repository at Copenhagen ; yet, as that of Ulphus 
is so accommodated, there is reason to think that those 
other Northern horns have their chains too. May not 
this account for the Prophet's supposing drinking vessels 
were hung up. Is. xxii. 24 ? 

There is so much conformity between the ancient 
horns of the North and those now used in the East, both 
having them of various metals, some of them being bul- 
locks' horns, tipt with gold about the edges, others of 
ivory, unicorns' horns, &c. and all highly ornamented ; 
and these present Eastern horns being apparently derived 
from ancient usage : that the thought of Isaiah's referring 
to drinking horns hung up seems perfectly natural. 

They are also of different proportions, as Isaiah sup- 
poses they were anciently. A common horn is, accord- 
ing to Sir John Chardin, eight inches high, and two inches 
broad at the top : such a horn about a quarter of a pint, I 
apprehend, since I have found a conical glass of that 
width at top, and half that height, held half that quantity, 
upon measuring the liquid it contained. But the horn of 

* Sir John Chardin mentions such horns in his printed travels ; some 
were horns of the rhinoceros, some of deer, the common sort those of oxen 
and sheep. He adds, that this custom of using them for drinking cups, 
and embellishing them, has been all along among the Eastern people, p. 
228. These horns were cinbellished as the richer sort of cups, Avhich "was 
with precious stones, and of didercnt proportions. The ordinary ones 
about eight inches high, and two broad at the top, very black, and polished. 
He saw these at 'I'efTlis. That at York is, I think, twentysevcn inches high, 
and about five inches hvn^id at ihc top, according to the plate. 


a very large foreign ox, D^easured by Sir Hans Sloane, 
Philosophical Transactions Abridged, vol. vii. p. 442? 
held in its hollow part exactly five quarters. Such a horn 
filled with civet, was to have been presented to the Great 
Mogul, p. 444. The Danish drinking horn of gold that I 
was mentioning holds about two quarts. Such differences 
there might be in the time of Isaiah, some of these sus- 
pended drinking vessels holding no more than the con- 
tents of a cup, others as much as a nebel, or whole jug of 




Wine is often the occasion of exciting great emotions of 
an untoward kind of tenderness toward the dead, and of 
devotion, which last might be the cause of Belshazzar's 
sending for the sacred vessels, taken from the Temple at 
Jerusalem, finding, as the wine operated, a most melting 
devotion rising toward the idols that he imagined had giv- 
en the Babylonians power to subdue Jerusalem, and finish 
the conquest of the Jewish nation. 

So have I known a lady, when mellow with strong li- 
quors, burst into a flood of tears, upon mentioning a de- 
ceased mother ; and Sir J. Chardin has given us a very 
droll, but painful description of the drunken bouts of some 
of the Eastern Christians, as an illustration of the nature 
of the devotion of Belshazzar toward his idols, when he 
began to grow drunk. " It is the custom of the greatest 
part of the Eastern Christians, and above all of the Iberi- 
ans, and the people of Colchis, when they are drunk, to 
lift up their eyes to heaven, beat themselves on the breast, 
to sigh and sob ; remorse for their sins awakening, and 
their fear of future punishment operating afresh." 

* See Observ. Ixii. p. 101. 




But to resume the consideration of the provision that 
was made for Nehemiah's table, see Obs. Ixiii. there was 
prepared for him dallj one ox, and six choice sheep, be- 
sides fowls, "and once in ten days store of all sorts of 

In the East thej have no casks, but keep their wine in 
jugs or flagons, by which means it is commonly a little 
thick. Such was that d'Arvieux was entertained with at 
a village near Mount Carrael, of which three jugs were 
opened for his supper and that of the governor, by the 
Greeks that inhabited it;* asd such is the Eastern wine 
in common. It was therefore no inconvenience to Nehe- 
miab, to have his wine brought in once in ten daj^s ; and 
his provision for that time must have consisted of a con- 
siderable number of these vessels, sufficient to load a lit- 
tle caravan of asses, which, according to Nehem. xiii, 15, 
they used for bringing wine, as well as other things in to 

The wines that are produced in different places differ 
considerably in their qualities. They might not, possi- 
bly, in the time of Nehemiah mind this so much as they 
did some ages after ; but the distinction was too sensible 
not to be perceived in those early days. The wine of 
Lebanon, and that of Helbon near Damascus, are men- 
tioned with distinction by the prophets Hcsea and Eze- 

* Voy. ilans la Pal. p. 107, 198. 

Y Niebuhr, ia his iSth plate, has, among other thirigs, given an amusing' 
figure of a camel, loaded with earthen vessels of water, fastened very inge- 
ciously, five on a side, by convolutions of cordage, in which manner Nehe- 
miah's wine probably was conveyed to him on asses. 

Leban, cheese, and dibbs, are commonly, says Dr. R. MS. note, brought 
into town by ass caravans; the leban is contained in long, narrow wooderr 
Tessels. Edit. 


kiel :* and the king of Persia's cup bearer may naturally 
be supposed to have as exquisite a taste for wine as any 
person of that age; every ten days then he ordered big 
people to purchase for him all the variety of wines that 
Judea could afford, which were proper for his table. It 
was part of the state he assumed as governor of that 

Red wine, in particular, is more esteemed in the East 
than white. And we are told, in the travels of 01earius,f 
that it is customary with the Armenian Christians in Per. 
sia to put Brazil wood, or saffron, into their wine, to give 
it a higher colour, when the wine is not so red as they 
like, they making no account of white wine. J He men- 
tions the same thing also in another place. || These accounts 
of their putting Brazil wood or saffron into their wines, to 
give them a deeper red, seem to discover an energy in 
the Hebrew word cdik adam, which is used Prov. xxiii. 
31, that I never remarked any where. It is of the conju- 
gation called Hithpahel, iiD'M<r\' yithaddam, which, accord- 
ing to grammarians denotes an action that turns upon the 
agent itself : it is not always, it may be, accurately ob- 
served ; but in this case it should seem that it ought to be 
taken according to the strictness of grammar, and that it 
intimates the wine's making i(self redder by something 
put into it : Look not on the ivine when it maketh itself 
red' It appears, indeed, from Is. Ixiii. 2, that some of 
the wines about Judea were naturally red ; but so Olea- 
rius supposed those wines to be which he met with in Per- 
sia, only more deeply tin^^ by art ; and this colouring it, 
apparently is to make it more pleasing and tempting to 
the eye. 

There are two other places relating to wine, in which 
our translators have used the term red; but the original 

* Lebanon affords excellent wines, even to llie present day. Edit. 

t P. 801. 
t This however Dr. Russell observes is not the case at Aleppo. Edit. 

(1 P. 776. 


word '^m chemer differs from that in Proverbs, and I should 
therefore imagine intended another idea ; what that might 
be, may, perhaps, appear in the sequel. The word, it 
is certain, sometimes signifies what is made thick or tur- 
bid; so it expresses the thickening water with mud, Ps. 
Ixxvi. 3. May it not then signify the thickening wine 
with its lees? It seems plainly to do so in one of the pas- 
sages :^ In the hand of the Lord is a cup, and the wine 
is red, or turbid : it is full of mixture, and he poureth out 
the same : but the dregs thereof alt the wicked of the earth 
shall wring them out, and drink them, Ps. Ixxv. 8. The 
turbidness of wine makes it very inebriating, and conse- 
quently expressive of the disorder affliction brings on the 
mind; thus, Thevenot, I remember, tells usf the wine of 
Shiras in Persia is full of lees, and therefore very heady ; 
to remedy which, they filtrate it through a cloth, and then 
it is very clear, and free from fumes. 

Does not this mixture of the lees with the wine, which 
the Psalmist speaks of, explain what is meant by mingling 
of wine so often mentioned in the Old Testament ? If it 
does, then the mingling of wine means the opening the 
jars of old, and consequently strong wine ; which opening 
makes the wine somewhat turbid, by mixing the lees wilh 
it; they, it seems, having no way of drawing it off fine 
from those earthen vessels in which it is kept, which we 
may learn from d'Arvieux's complaint, relating to the 
w^ine near Mount Carmel ; and so this mingled wine stands 
in opposition to 2iew wine, which is, to the eye, an uniform 
liquor. According to this thought, the mingling of wine, 
mentioned as a part of the preparation Wisdom had made 
for an entertainment, Prov* ix. 2, will signify the getting 
up and opening some jugs of wine ready for drinking; 
and the hein^ men of strength to mingle strong drink, 
Is. V. 22, will signify persons able to drink great quanti- 
ties of old wine, who occasion jar after jar to be open- 
ed, and thereby made turbid. 

* The other is Isaiah xxvii. 2. t Part ii. p. 126, 

VOL. II. 15 


The learned Vitringa,^ indeed, explains this mingling 
it with water, or with spices. But, not to say thalThev- 
enot affirms,! that the people of the Levant never mingle 
water with their wine to drink, but drink by itself what 
water they think proper for the abating the strength of the 
wine, since the ancient custom might have been different, 
it cannot surely be of this mixture that the Scriptures of- 
tentimes speak, for the mixture of water with the wine is the 
mixture o( temperance and peace, not that of contention 
and wo, Prov. xxiii. 29, 30. Nor is it so natural to un- 
derstand it of wine mixed with aromatics, or things of that 
sort ; these being rather a preparation for those that drink 
but little, and use wine for a medicine, than what they 
prepare for tbeni that tarry lo<ig at the wine. 

Something however of this latter kind was anciently in 
use, as appears from Can. viii. 2: I would cause thee to 
drink of spiced wine of the juice of my pomegranate, of 
wine mixed wilh the juice of pomegranates. Russell ob- 
serves, that there are three sorts of pomegranates at 
Aleppo, the sour, the sweet, and another between both; 
and that they are wont to give a grateful acidity to their 
sauces, by pomegranate or lemon juice: as then we fre- 
quently make use of lemon juice along with wine, to make 
a cooling, refreshing liquor in hot weather, as well as in 
our sauces ; so it should seem the spouse proposed to 
prepare a liquid of much the same kind, wilh the juice of 
pomegranates. J 

Liquors of this kind, leaving out the wine, which the 
Mohammedan religion forbids, are very common in the 

* In Corn, in Is. v. 22. f Part xi, p. 96. 

i It is, I thiiik, highly probable, that in the time of the most remote an- 
tiquity, pomegianate juicewas used, in those countries, where lemon juice 
is now used, wilh their meat, and in their drinks, and that it was not till 
afterward, that lemons came among them : I know not how else to account 
for the mention of pomegranates in describing the fruitfulness of the Holy 
Land, Uctit. tiii 7, 8, Num xx. 5. They would not now, I think, occur in 
such descriptions ; the juice of lemons and oranges have, at present, al- 


East at this daj. So Dr. Pococke tells us, vol. ii. p. 
125, the people of Damascus have their rinfiescoes, which 
are made of liquorice, lemons, or dried grapes; and two 
or three pages after, speaking of a plain toward Jordan, 
he informs us, that liquorice grows there as fern does 
with us, that they carry the wood for fuel to Damascus, 
and the root serves to make rinfrescoes : and sherbet, 
W'hich, according to Dr. Russell, is some syrup, chiefly 
that of lemons, mixed with water, is in great use, and 
mentioned by a vast number of authors.^ 

most superseded the use of that of pomegranates." Sir John Chardin, in 
his MS. supposes that this pomegranste wine means, wine made of that 
fruit; which he informs us is made use of in considerable quantities, in 
several places of the East, and particularly in Persia : his words are, Ou 
fait, en diverses parts de I'Orient, du vin de grenade, nomme roubnar, 
qu'on transporte par lout. II y en a sur tout en Perse. 

My reader must determine for himself, whether pomegranate wine, or 
wine commonly so called mixed with pomegranate juice, Avas most prob- 
ably mean there. The making the first of these was a fact unknown to 
me, till I saw this manuscript, I confess, though it seems it is niade in 
such large quantities as to be transported. 

« This, says Dr. Russell, is by no means the case. The pomegranate is 
more easily 'preserved through the winter, and often in cooker} prefefred 
to lemon. In describing the fruitfulness of a country, the pomegranate 
would be mentioned; and thev are cultivated carefully even wh«;re lemons 
are plenty. What Chardin calls roubnar, I should not understand to be 
wine. Rah al nar is the inspissated juice of the pomegranate, or the 
juice of grapes preserved with sugar. Thus they have the rob al kirres^ 
cherries, rob il soose, liquorice, &c. 

* Hasselquist mentions some of these sorts of sherbet, and adds an ac_ 
count of some others, telling us that the sweetscented violet is one of the 
plants most esteemed by the Egyptians and Turks, not only for its scent 
and colour, but especially for its great use in sherbet, which they make 
of violet sugar, dissolved in water, especially when they intend to enter- 
tain their guests in an elegant manner.^ He then tells us of capillaire 
mixed with water; and that the grandees sometimes add ambergris, 
which is the highest pitch of luxury, and indulgence of their appetites, p. 
254. Sir J. Chardin, in a MS. note on a passage of the Apocrypha, simi- 
lar to Nch. viii. 10, seems to suppose that drinking the sweet refers to 
the great quantities of sherbet used in the East; but if they are of as an- 
cient date as the days of Nehemiah, this passage will hardly prove the fact* 
The liquorice root serves to make a decoction, which is clarified and drank 

• They have what they call dry sherbet, that is, the juice cTf violets or 
other acid fruits, and especially of iherAewm ribcs, which are mcorporalcrl 


These passages, and particularly what Pococke says of 
the making rinfrescoes with roots of liquorice, sufficient- 
ly explain the sorbitiunculcB delicata, and the contrita 
olcra, of St. Jerom, page 239. 

Upon occasion of that passage, I would also take the 
liberty of proposing as a query, whether the drinking 
wine in bowls, complained of by the Prophet, Amos vi. 6, 
is to be understood of the quantity drunk, or of the 
magnificence of the vessel made use of. The other 
particulars seem rather to refer to the magnificence 
of their repasts than the quantity consumed; and St. 
Jerom speaks of a sAeZ/, the porcelain of those ancient 
times, as a piece of luxury in drinking undoubtedly, op- 
posing it to a cup : may not the Prophet's complaint be 
of the like kind with that of this Father of the Christian 
church, and relate rather to the magnificence of the drink- 
ing-vessel than to the quantity they drank? Erasmus, 
in his notes on that place of St. Jerom, tells us, that 
Virgil speaks of the like piece of grandeur; 

Ut Concha bibat, ei Sarrano indormiat Ostro. 

Geor. II. V. 506, 

That he may dritik from the shell, and sleep on Tyrian purple. 

Though the common reading is gemma, a gem, instead 
of concha^ a shell. I have seen very beautiful and highly 
valued vessels made of shells ; and the Red Sea, which is 
celebrated for producing some of the finest sea shells 
in the world, ^ is near Judea; and gave an opportunity 
to the ancient Jews of introducing vessels of this kind 
among their olher precious utensils. Nor are they now 
only esteemed by our European Virtuosi : the people of 
the East value them : so shells were sent, along with 
fruit, for a present to Dr. Pococke, when at Tor near 
Mount Sinai. f 

with a syrup of sugar, which, when hot, is thicker than tliiek honey; and 
afterward made dry enough to be preserved in flat wooden boxes. Of this 
they can make occasionally sherbet on the road, by dissolving a small 
quantity in water, bo Dr. Russell in his MS. notes. Edit. 

* See Shaw, p. 448. 

t Vol. i. p. 145. Cups of the most beautiful appearance and ornamented 
in the most costly manner are formed out of the JVautilus. Such drink- 




If I be right in my conjecture concerning mingled 
wine, old wine must have been most esteemed in the East, 
as well as the West ; and that it was so, whether my 
conjecture be right or not, is beyond contradiction ap- 
parent from those words of our Lord, Luke v. 39. No 
man also having drunk old wine, straightway desireth 
new; for he saith, The old is better. But how then 
came the prophet Joel to threaten the Israelitish drinkers 
of wine, ch. i. 5, with the cutting off the new wine from 
their mouth ? 

It is the fault of the translation, undoubtedly that occa- 
sions the query. The Hebrew word D'Djr asees, should 
be translated sweet wine. Sweet as the new trodden 
juice of grapes, if you will, but old wine of this sort, as 
appears from the ancient Eastern translators of the 
Septuagint, were chiefly esteemed formerly, for that which 
our version renders royal wine in abundance, according 
to the state of the king, Esth. i. 7, they translate much and 
sweet wines, such as the king himself drank.^ 

ing vessels are frequent in China and elsewhere. Perhaps to such beauti- 
ful vessels as these, containing the most costly liquor, the Apostle alludes, 
2 Cor. iv. 7. i^o/Aiv S'i rov (i»<rct'j^ov Tounv ivog-p^Kivon a-KiViutv- We have 
this treasure in earthen vessels, literally, vessels made of shell, that the 
exceliency of the power might be of Gon aJid not of us. The shell, the 
body, is beautiful, though frail ; the treasure, the light and grace of 
Christ, is very glorious ; but the j!?fewer of God, by which the light is 
kept burning and the body preserved from death, infinitely surpasses all. 

* 0/VC5 'woKvg D(fuf, cv ctvros o 0a.s-tXiUi iTrtviv. Perhaps it was witii a view 
to this, that the soldiers offered our Lord vinegar, -wine that was become 
very soz^?', in opposition to sweet wine princes were wont to drink : for 
St. Luke tells us they did this in mockery, ch. xxiii. 36, Jlnd the soldiers 
also mocked Jam, coming- to him, a7id offering him vinegar. Medicated 
'.vine, to deaden their sense of pain, was wont, we are told, to be given to 
Jewish criminals, when about to be put to death, see Lightfoot on Matt, 
xxvii. 34 ; but they gave our Lord vinegar, and that in mockery, in mock- 
ery, as they did other things, of his claim to royalty : but the force of this 
iloes not appeal', if we do not recollect the quality of the wines drank an- 
tiently by princes, which, it seems, were of the swest kind. 


A remark that Dr. Russell makes, on the white wines 
of Aleppo, may help to explain this. Thej are palata- 
ble, but thin and poor, and seldom keep sound above a 
year.* Some of the Eastern wines then are poor, and 
will not keep, while those that were capable of being 
kept till they were old, and which those that loved 
drinking desired, were those which were sweet, and con- 
sequently proper subjects for the threatening of the 
Prophet. f 

Agreeably to this, the same Prophet describes^ a state 
of great prosperity by the mountains dropping down sweet 
wine: that is, that the mountains of Judea should not 
produce wine like the thin and poor wines of Aleppo, but 
that which was rich, and capable of being long kept, and 
by that means, of acquiring the greatest pleasantness. The 
same word D'd;^ is very properly translated sweet wine in 
Amos is, 13, but our commentators have passed over this 
circumstance very lightly. 

But what completes and finishes the illustration of this 
passage of the first of Joel, is a curious and amusing ob- 
servation of Dr. Shaw's concerning the wine of Algiers, 
though the Doctor has not applied it to that purpose. 
^' The wine of Algiers, before the locusts destroyed the 
vineyards, in the years ir23 and 1724, was not inferior 
to the best Hermitage, either in briskness of taste or fla- 
vour. But since that time it is much degenerated ; hav- 
ing not hitherto, 1732, recovered its usual qualities. ''|[ 
It is a desolation of their vineyards by locusts that 
Joel threatens, which it seems injures their produce for 
many years, as to briskness and flavour ; and consequent- 
ly nothing was more natural than to call the drunkards 
of Israel to mourn on that account. 

* Vol. i. p. 80. t Accordirsgly, the MS. C. describes the Eastern 

wine as not 80 bad for the head as those of Europe, and particularly the 
green Rhenish wines, and the heavy wines of Orleans. 

Dr. Russell says, MS. note, that the wine of the preceding year nn'ght 
be called oW, in comparison with wine newly made. Tlie sweet or mus- 
eadine wines, the Cyprus excepted, do not keep long. Edit. 

4 Chap. iii. 18. II Page 146. 


The same word occurs Is. xlix. 26. Vitringa, in his 
comment on that place, supposes it signifies Must there, 
that is, wine just pressed out from the grapes ; but Mons. 
Lemery, a celebrated French chemist, tells us, thdit Must 
will not inebriate, which the Prophet is there speaking of, 
but produces a very different effect. Our translators 
then have done much better in translating it sweet wine 
such as was used in royal palaces for its gratefulness, was 
capable of being kept to a great age, and consequently 
with which people were apt to get drunk. 

A few generations ago, sweet wines were those that 
were most esteemed in England itself. 

Sir Thomas Brown explains^^ the new wine, mentioned 
Acts ii. 13, after the same manner, supposing it signifies 
not new wine, properly speaking, which was not to be 
found at pentecost, but some generous, strong, and sweet 
wine, wherein more especially lay the power of inebria- 
tion ; I do not propose this therefore as a new thought, 
but perhaps the additional illustrations, which are not to 
be found in Sir Thomas, may be agreeable to the reader. 



The time of drinking wine, in the East, is at the be- 
ginning, not at the close of entertainments, as it is with 

Sir John Chardin has corrected an error of a French 
commentator as to this point, in his manuscript note on 
Esther v. 6. It seems the commentator had supposed 
the banquet of wine meant the dessert^ because this is our 

* Misccll. Tracts, p. 8, at the close of his works in folio. 

I Dr. Russell says, MS. Iii Syria it is only among the Christians and 
Jews that wine is produced at table ; and then at the same time with the 
victuals, or when fruits, nuts, ^!cc. are brought by way of dessert. The> 
c«ramonly drink a small cup of brandy before sitting down. Edit, 


custom in the West ; but he observes, *' that the Eastern 
people, on the contrary, drink and discourse before ealing, 
and that after the rest is served up, the feast is quickly 
over, they eating very fast, and every one presently with- 
drawing. They conduct matters thus at the royal table, 
and at those of their great men." 

Dr. Castell, in his Lexicon, seems to have been guilty 
*6f the same fault, by a quotation annexed to thai note. 

Chardin's account agrees with that of Olearius, who 
tells us, that when the ambassadors he attended were at 
the Persian court, "at a solemn entertainment, the floor 
of the hall was covered with a cotton cloth, which was 
covered with all sorts of fruits and sweetmeats, in basins 
of gold. That with them was served up excellent Shiras 
wine. That after an hour's time, the sweetmeats were re- 
moved, to make way for the more substantial part of the 
entertainment, such as rice, boiled and roasted mutton, 
fowl, game, &c. That after having been at table an hour 
and an half, warm water was brought, in an ewer of gold^ 
for washing ; and grace being said, they began to retire 
without speaking a word, according to the custom of the 
country, as also did the ambassadors soon after. "^ 

This is Olearius's account, in short : by which it ap- 
pears, that wine was brought first ; that the time of that 
part of the entertainment was double to the other: and 
that immediately after eating, they withdrew. This was 
the practice of the modern court of Persia, and probably 
might be so in the days of Ahasuerus. Unluckily, Dio» 
dati and Dr. Castell did not attend to this circumstance, 
in speaking of the banquet of wine prepared by Queen 



That account that the MS. C. gives us, of the solem- 
nity with which they begin their feasts in Mingrelia and 

• p. 709 — 712. But Dr. Russell says, this custom is not followed in 
Si/ria. Edit. 


Georgia, is extremely amusing to the imagination ; but I 
very much question whether the cup of salvation, of 
which the Psalmist speaks,* was made use of, as he sup- 
poses, Justin the same manner. 

** It is the custom, it seems, in Mingrella and Georgia, 
and some other Eastern countries, for people, before they 
begin a feast, to go out abroad, and with eyes turned to 
heaven, to pour out a cup of wine on the ground. From 
the Ethiopic version he imagines the like custom obtains 
in Ethiopia.'* 

This may be considered as a picture of what the idola- 
trous Israelites did, when they poured out drink offerings 
to the queen of heaven, Jer. xliv. If, &c. what Jacob did 
more purely in the patriarchal times, when he poured out 
a drink offering on th« pillar he set up, Gen. xxxv, 14: 
but it does not follow, that any thing of this sort was done 
in their common feasts ; or was ever done by David. f It 
is certain the modern Jews, when they annually celebrate 
the deliverance of their forefathers in Egypt, take a cup 
of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord, singing 
a portion of the book of Psalms, but they drink the wine, 
and do not pour it upon the ground ; nor do they practise 
this effusion of wine in their more common feasts. J 



Wine presses it should seem from several Scriptures^ 
were not moveable things ; and according to a parable of 
our Lord, were somehow made by diggiiig, 3Iat. xxi. 33. 

Sir J. Chardin found the wine presses in Persia were 
made after the same manner, being formed, he tells us in 

* Psalm cxvi. 13. 

f The liquid which David is said to have poured out before the LouDj 
2 Sam. xxiii. 16, and I Chron. xi. 18, was -ivater, not ivine. 

^ Buxtorfii Syn. Jud. cap. 12. Dr. Ilussell observes, that they do this in 
some places on their marriage ceremonies, Bdit» 

VOL. ir. 16 


liis MS. by making holloa places in the ground, lined with 
mason's work. They dig then Avine presses there. 



They frequently pour wine from vessel to vessel in the 
East: for when they begin one, they are obliged imme- 
diately to empty it into smaller vessels, or into bottles, or 
it would grow sour.* 

This is an observation of the same writer, whoremarksy 
that the Prophet alludes to it, Jer. xlviii. 11, in the case 
of Moab. According to which it should seem to be hint- 
ed, that Moab had continued in the full possession of the 
country of their ancestors, without such diminutions and 
transmigrations as Israel had experienced. 



Dr. Pococke, in the passage quoted under a precede 
h]% Obser\ation, relating to the rinfrescoes of Damascus^ 
tells us, that the people of that place put snow into their 
wine and rinfrescoes. This, he supposes, is not so whole- 
some a way as that of the Europeans, who only cool their 
liquors with it ; but its antiquity, not its wholesomenessp 
is the point we are to consider. 

Gejerus doubts whether the custom was so ancient as 
the days of Solomon ; but surely Prov. xxv. 13,f puts the 

* From tlie jovs, says Dr. Russell, MS. note, in which the wine ferments^ 
it is drawn off into demyans, which centain perhaps twenty quart bottles . 
and tVem those into bottles for use : but as these bottles are generally not 
well washed, the wine is often sour. The more careful, use pint bottles, 
nr half pint bottles, and cover the surface with a little sweet oil. Edit. 

t Vide Poll Syn, in Prov. xxv, IS. 


matter out of question : the royal preacher could not 
speak of a fall of snow m the time of harvest, that must 
have been incommoding, instead of pleasurable, which it 
is supposed to be; he must be understood then to mean 
liquids cooled some how by snow. 

The snow of Lebanon, it seems, was celebrated for this 
use of it, in the time of Jacobus de Vitriaco; for observ- 
ing,^ that snow is rarely found in the Holy Land, except- 
ing on very high mountains, such as Libanus, he goes on, 
and says, that all summer, and especially in the sultry 
dog days, and the month of August, snow of an extreme 
cold nature is carried from Mount Libanus, two or three 
day's journey, that being mixed with wine, it may make 
it as cold as ice. This snow is kept from melting by the 
heat of the sun, or warmth of the air, he tells us, by its 
being covered up with straw. 

The snow of this mountain, it seems was in high esti- 
mation in the time of the Prophet Jeremiah, for the same 
purpose, Jer. xviii. 14. But this consideration is not suf- 
ficient perfectly to explain that obscure verse. 




However, though the gratefulness of liquors cooled 
by snow is, I apprehend, referred to in Prov. xxv. 13, 
yet I very much question whether the supposition of 
those commentators is just, who imagine those liquors 
were drank by the reapers. All that Solomon teaches 
us is, that the coolness given by snow to liquids was ex- 

* Gesta Dei, p. 1098. Nives autem nisi circa monies altitudine nimia 
{)r?eminentes, cujusraodi est Libanus, in terra rarissime reperiuntur. In 
toto autem sestivo tempore, et maxime in diebus canicularibus ferventissi- 
inis, et in mense Augusti, nix frigidissiraa a raonte Libano per duas vel 
plures diet-as defertur, ut vino commixta, tanquam glaciem ipsum frigidum 
reddat. Conservantur aiitem pradictse uives sub palea, ne fervore soiis, seu 
calore aeris, dissolTantur. 


freaselr grafeful m the time of harrest, that is, in the 

summer; but as to the reapers themselves, vinegar, men- 
tioned in the book of Ruth as part of the provision for 
them, seems to be a much more suitable thing for per- 
sons heated with such strong exercise, than liquors cool- 
ed by snow.=^ 

CommeDtators have frequently remarked the refreshing 
qnalify of vinegar. I shall not repeat their observations, 
but rather would ask, why the Psalmist prophetically 
complains of the giving him vinegar to drink, in that dead- 
ly thirst, which in another Psalm he describes by the 
tongue's cleaving to the jaws, if it be so refreshing? Its 
refreshing quality cannot be doubted ; but may it not be 
replied, that besides the gall which he mentions, and 
which ought not to be forgotten, vinegar itself, refreshing 
as it is, was only made use of by the meanest people ? 
The juice of lemons is what those of higher life now use, 
and as the juice of pomegranate is used at Aleppo in their 
sauces, according to Dr. Russell, as well as that of lemons, 
to give them a grateful acidity, so if lemons were not an- 
ciently known, the juice of pomegranates might of old be 
used, by persons of distinction, when they wanted an acid 
in common, as we know it is mentioned in one particular 
case in a royal song.f So Pitts tells us, in the beginning 
of his account of his sorrows, that the food that he, and 
the rest had, when first taken by the Algerines, was gen- 
erally only five or six spoonsful of vinegar, half a spoonful 
of oil, a few olives, with a small quantity of black biscuit, 
and a pint of water a day :J on the other hand, Russell 
relates, that when they would treat a person at this day 
with distinguished honor in the East, they present him 
with sherbet, that is, water mingled with syrup of lemons. 
When a royal personage has Tinegar given him in his 
thirst, the refreshment of a slave, of a wretched prisoner, 

* Dr. RnsseH obserres, M5. note, tliat snow is plentiful at Tripoli; and 
that thp people never mind being hot when they can jet the scow to eool 
their drink vith. Eeit. 

t Cant- viii. 2. ? P. 6- 


instead of that of a prince, he is greatly dishonored, and 
maj well complain of it as a bitter insult, or represent 
such insults bv this image. 



But from the use of their juice let us 20 on to consider 
that of lemons themselves, or their kindred fruit, citrons 
and oranges. 

Maillet every where expresses a strong prejudice in 
favour of Egypt : its air, its water, and all its productions, 
are incomparable. He acknowledges, however, its ap- 
ples and pears are very bad, and that in this respect 
Egypt is as little favoured as almost any place in the 
world ; that some, and those very indifferent, that are 
carried thither from Rhodes and Damascus, are sold ex- 
tremely dear.'^ As the best apples of Egypt, which are 
however very indifferent, are brought thither by sea fronj 
Rhodes, and by land from Damascus, we may believe 
that Judea, an intermediate country between Egypt and 
Damascus, has none that are of any value. This is abun- 
dantly confirmed by d'Arvieux, who observed that the 
fruits that were most commonly eaten by the Arabs of 
3Iount Carmel, were figs, grapes, dates, apples and pearsr 
which they have from Damascus; apricots, both fresh 
and dried, melons, pasteques or watermelons, which thev 
make use of in summer, instead of water, to quench their 
thirst ;t the Arabs then of Judea can find no apples there 
worth eating, but have them brought from Damascus, as 
the people of Egypt have. 

Can it be imagined then the apple trees of which the 
Prophet Joel speaks., ch. i. 1*2, and which be mentions 
among the things that gave joy to the inhabitants of Ju- 

• Lett Ls. p. 15, 16 7 Voj. dsuis la Tsi. p. 901. 


dea, were apple trees properly speaking? Our translators 
must surely have been mistaken here, since the apples 
the Arabs of Judea eat at this day are of foreign growth, 
and at the same time but very indifferent. 

Bishop Patrick, in his commentary on the Canticles,=^ 
supposes that the word CD'msn tappiicheemy translated 
apples, is to be understood of the fruit to which we give 
that name, and also of oranges, citrons, peaches, and all 
fruits that breathe a fragrant odour: but the justness of 
this may be questioned. The Roman authors, it is true, 
call pomegranates, quinces, citrons, peaches, apricots, all 
by the common name of apples, only adding an epithet to 
distinguish them from the species of fruit we call by that 
name, and from one another; but it does not appear that 
the Hebrew writers do so too. The pomegranate certain- 
]y has its peculiar name : and the book of Canticles seems 
to mean a particular species of trees by this term, since it 
prefers them to all the trees of the wood. This author 
then does not seem to be in the right, when he gives such 
^ vague sense to the word. 

What sort of tree and of fruit then are we to understand 
by the word, since, probably, one particular species is 
designed by it, and it cannot be supposed to be the prop- 
er apple tree? There are five places besides this in Joel, 
in which the word occurs, and from them we learn that it 
was thought the noblest of the trees of the wood, and that 
jts fruit was very sweet or pleasant, Cant. ii. 3 ; of the col- 
our of gold, Prov, XXV. 11 ; extremely fragrant, Cant, vii. 
8 ; and proper for those to smell to that were ready to faint. 
Cant. ii. 5. The fifth passage. Cant. viii. 5, contains 
nothing particular, I think; but the description the other 
four give, perfectly answers the citron tree and its fruit. 

It may be thought possible, that the orange and the 
lemon tree, which now grow in Judea in considerable 

* On Cant. vii. 8. 


numbers, =^' as well as the citron, equally answers the de- 
scriplion. They do: but it is to be remembered, that it 
is very much doubted by eminent naturalists, Ray inpar- 
ticular,f whether they were known to the ancients, where- 
as it is adniitted that they were acquainted with the cit- 
ron. The story that Josephus tells us,J of the pelting 
King Alexander Jannaeus by the Jews with their citrons, 
at one of their feasts, plainly proves that they were ac- 
quainted with it some generations before the birth of our 
Lord, and it is supposed to have been of much longer 
standing in that country. |I 

Citron trees are very noble, being large, their leaves 
very beautiful, ever continuing upon the tree, of an ex- 
quisite smell, and affording a most delightful shade : it 
might well therefore be said. As the citron tree among 
the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. 
Its fruit is also of the colour of gold, according to Prov. 
XXV. 11. Maundrell seems to have had the same sort of 
sensibility ; for, describing the palace of the emir Faccar- 
dine, at Beroot, on the coast of Syria, he prefers the or- 
ange garden to every thing else that he met with there, 
though it was only a large quadrangular plat of ground, 
divided into sixteen lesser squares, but the walks were so 
shaded with orange trees of a large spreading size, and so 
frilded with fruit, that he thought nothing could be more 
perfect in its kind, or, if it had been duly cultivated, could 
have been more delightful. When we recollect that the 
difference between citron trees and orange is not very 

* Thevenot observed the gardens at Naplouse, part i. p. 215, full of or- 
ange as well as citron trees ; and Egmont and Ileyman saw lemon trees 
at Hattin and Saphet in Galilee. Vol. ii. p. 30—48. See also Dr. PocockeV 
Travels, vol. ii. p. 67. 

I Dr. Shaw appears to be of the same opinion, p. 341. 

4: Antiq. Jud. 1. xiii. c. 13. 

11 Dr. Russell says, MS. note, that citrons are brought from Jerusalem te 
^'^leppo for the Jews on their great feasts. Ex)i r. 


discernable,^^ excepting by the fruit, which are both how- 
ever of the colour o( gold, this passage of Maundrell may 
serve as a comment on that passage of this ancient royal 
song, which I mentioned in the beginning of the paragraph. 

The fragrancy of the fruit is admirable : with great pro- 
priety then might the nose, or breath of the spouse, be 
compared to citrons ; whereas the energy of the compari- 
son is lost when understood of apples, which are at least 
not near so fragrant, and in the East are very indifferent. f 

Citrons also are well known to be extremely grateful 
to the taste, and must be infinitely more proper to be 
smelted to by those that are ready to faint, their peel be- 
ing, according to the writers on the Materia Medica, ex- 
hilarating to the heart, as their juice cordial and refresh- 
ing. Stay me with flagons, that is, with wine, according 
to the common explanation, which was given to those that 
were faint, 2 Sam. xvi. 2 ; Comfort me with apples, with 
citrons, which are so refreshing and exhilarating. Eg- 
mont and Heyman tell us of an Arabian who was in a 
great measure brought to himself, when overcome with 
wine, by the help of citrons and coffee ;J how far this 
may be capable of illustrating the ancient practice of re- 
lieving those that were near fainting, by the use of citrons, 
I leave to medical gentlemen ro determine. 

I do not however by all this pretend that I am here giv- 
ing the world a new thought, when I suppose the citron is 
to be understood in these passages instead of the apple 
tree. It has given me pleasure to find that the Chaldee 
paraphrast, on Cant. ii. 3, understood this word in the 
same way ; but the distinctness with which I have pro- 
posed these matters, and the illustration I have given of 

* A browu redness in the young leaves is, T think, the only vulgar dis- 
tinction, by which an observer is led to pronounce it a citron tree, where 
there is no fruit. 

fit is however a common saying in the East concerning any thing, the 
flavour of which is very pleasing, it smells like an apple. Edit. 

i Vcl. ii. p. 36. 


the particulars, maj perhaps lay some little claim to that 
novelty which the reader will expect in these Observa= 

I will only further add, that to the manner of serving 
up these citrons in his court, Solomon seems to refer, 
when he says, A word fitly spoken ^ is like this fruit serv- 
ed up in vessels of silver, curiously wrought ; whether, 
as IViaiaionides supposes, wrought with openwork like 
baskets, or curiously chased, it nothing concerns us to de- 
termine. But it may not be improper to observe, that 
this magnificence was not, we have reason to suppose, very 
common at that time, since the fruit that was presented to 
d'Arvieux, by the grand emir of the Arabs, was brought 
in nothing better than a painted vessel of wood :^ to an 
antique apparatus of vessels for fruit, perhaps of this 
painted wood kind, Solomon opposes the magnificence of 
his court. 

Sir John Chardin, in his MS. note on this passage of 
Solomon, understands the words as referring to a vessel 
adorned in a different manner from what I mentioned in 
the last paragraph. I ought not to deprive my reader of 
an opportunity of comparing his sentiments with what I 
have been proposing, and therefore I shall set down his 
supposition here. " They damaskeen the gold in Persia, 
and give it the colour of steel. They do the same to sil- 
ver. So that without being engraved, it appears in figures, 
is more catching to the eye, and is very pleasing."f 
Every thing curious in that age made its way, we may be* 
lieve, into the court of king Solomon ; but it may be ques- 
tioned whether this art was then known, and if it were, 
whether so generally as to be alluded to in a waiting de- 
signed for piiblic instruction. 


'■ * Voy. dixnsla Pal. p. 11. 

I On damasquine I'or en Perse, et on luy donne une cculeur d'acicr ; et 
ft I'arjjent 6ussi ; en sorte que sans estre grave il est figure, ce qui eclate, et 
paraitd'udvantage, ct est fort agreable. 

TOL. U. 17 





Sir J. Chardin supposes,-^ as well as Dr. Shaw,f that 
pistachio mils constituted one part of Jacob's present to 

Adding, that the pistachios of Syria are the best in the 
world. A circumstance I do not remember to have met 
with elsewhere :J and as it serves to confirm these expo-^ 
sitions of part of a passage, as Sir John observes, has very 
much embarrassed commentators, I thought it an obser- 
vation worth preserving. 



The marlis of distinction of that fruit which Ziba ppe- 
sented unto David, in his flight from Absalom, with bread, 
raisins, and wine, are not so many as those relating to the 
cition perhaps ; they however deserve consideration. 

Ziba met David, according to the sacred historian, 2 
Sam. xvi. 1, with a couple of asses, and upon them two 
hundred loaves of bread, a hunelred branches of raisins, a 
hundred of summer fruits, and a bottle of wine. These 
summer fruits the Septuagint supposes were dates, <poiviKi? ; 
but the more common opinion is that they were figs.|| which 
it seems was that also of the Chaldee paraphrast. Grotius 
however supposes^ the original word signifies the fruits of 
trees in general. JjL 

* InaMS. note onGcn. xliii. 11. t P- 145. 

t But Galen has made the same observation ; for he says, that the pista-^ 
Chios of Aleppo are preferable to all others. Edit. 

f] See Dr, Shaw, p, 144. § Vide Grot, in Jer. xl. 10: 


I cannot adopt any of these opinions. If the notes of 
distinction are not numerous enough, or sufficiently clear, 
to determine with precision what the fruit was, I believe 
they are sufficient to satisfy us that these authors were 
mistaken. We may gather three things relating to them : 
that they were of some considerable size, since their 
quantity was estimated by tale ; that they came before 
the bean season was ended, for after this we find that the 
inhabitants of the country beyond Jordan sent to David, 
along with other provisions, quantifies of beans, 2 Sam. 
xviii. 28, they being things, according to Dr. Shaw, that, 
after they are boiled and stewed with oil and garlick, con- 
stitute the principal food, in the spring, of persons of all 
distinctions;^ and they were thought by Ziba a suitable 
refreshment to those that were travelling in a wilderness, 
where it was to be supposed they would be thirsty as 
well as hungry. f 

Nothing then could be more unhappy, or more strongly 
mark out the inattention of the translators of the Septua- 
gint, for it cannot be imagined they were ignorant of these 
matters, than the rendering this word, in this place, dates, 
which are neither produced in summer, nor suited to 
allay the heat of that season : Dr. Pococke observing 
that they are not ripe till November; and that they are 
esteemed of an hot nature. Providence seeming to have 
designed them, as they are warm food, to comfort the 
stomach, he thinks^ during the cold season, in a country 
where it has not given wine,J for he is there speaking 
concerning Egypt. 

They could not be figs, I think: for as Dr. Shaw ob- 
serves in the general, that the spring is the time for beans, 
and Dr. Russell more particularly, that April and May 
are the months for this sort of pulse at Aleppo, after 
which they disappear ; so the first of these authors informs 
lis that the Boccore, or early fig, is not produced till June^ 

t Compare 2 Sam. xvii. 29, with 2 Sam xvi. 2, 
+ Trav. into the East, vol- i. p. 206, 


and the fi^ properly SO called, which they preserve and 
Fnake up in(o cakes, rarely before August.^ He indeed 
elsewhere observes, that now and then a (e\v figs are ripe 
six weeks or more before the full season,f and conse- 
quently in the beginning of May, in the bean season ; but 
theri, as a hundred of these would have been but a small 
quantify, for they are not things of a large size, so they 
would, doubtless, in such a case have been presented as 
rarities to the king, for his own eating, J whereas the his- 
torian expressly tells us, that Ziba told David, the sum- 
mer fruits, as well as the bread, were for the young men, 
his servants, that is, to eat; accordingly. Bishop Patrick 
supposes, in his commentary, that if any thing was par- 
ticularly designed for David's own support, it was the 
raisins. To this may be added, that Josephus, who men- 
tions not the particulars of Ziba's present, speaks else- 
where of summer fruits as growing in places that are well 
watered ;|I which is not the case of the fig tree, it should 
seem, according to Columella's representation. § 

Nor could by these summer fruits be meant, as Gro- 
tius supposes, fruit produced by trees in general; for 
most of these fruits are autumnal, while those that were 
meant were contemporary with beans. Accordingly 
they are expressly distinguished from grapes and olives, 
Jer. xl. 10, 1*2, which are two of the principal produc- 
tions of the trees of that country; nor could they be 
pomegranates, which are a third, and of(en spoken of in 
the descriptions that the Scriptures give us of the fer- 
tilily of Ihe Holy Land,^ for pomegranates are not ripe 
till August. ''\'*' There are some trees that produce their 
fruit indeed in the bean season, ihe almond in the begin- 
ning of April, and the apricot in May, of which last the 
fruit is in high repute at (his time in the Holy Land,ff 

* P;v^c J4i. I Page .'Vi3. Ij. These are those figs before suui- 

Micr, 1 imagine, Lhut Isaiah speaks of, cli. xxviii. 4. jj Dr. Sha-.v, p. 27. 

§ Aiitiq. Jud. lib. viii. ch. vi. ^ Num. xiii. 23. chap. xx. 5. Deut viii. 8, 
** Shaw, p. 145. -| t Yny. dans la Pal. p. 201. 


and Ihose of Damascus are preserved in different ways, 
Dr. Pococke tells us, and in particular are exported in 
large quantities made into thin dried cakes, which, when 
eaten with bread, are a very cooling and agreeable food 
in summer;^' but then it is questioned whether the apri- 
cot was known in the time of ZIba in Judea,f and almonds 
would not have been brought in so small a quantity as a 

When then I find that watermelons grow spontaneous^ 
ly in these hot countries, J are made use of by the Arabs 
of the Holy Land in summer instead of water, to quench 
their thirst, || and are purchased as of the greatest use 
to travellers in thirsty deserts ;§ and that cucumbers 
are very much used siill in that country to mitigate 
the heat :^ 1 am very much inclined to believe these 
summer fruits were not the produce of trees, but of this 
class of herbs, which creep along the ground, and pro- 
duce fruits full of a cooling moisture, and very large in 
proportion to the size of the plant. They could scarce- 
ly however be watermelons, I imagine, because they do 
not begin to gather them before June \^^^ but cucumbers, 
which come in May, and were actually eaten in Galilee 
the latter end of that month by Dr. Pococke, he having 
stopped at an Arab tent, where they prepared him eggs, 
and sour milk, he tells us, cutting into it raw cucumbers, 
as a cooling diet in that season, which he found very hot: 
cucumbers continued at Aleppo to the end of July, and 
are brought again to market in September and October, 
and consequently are contemporaries with grapes and 
olives, according to Jer. xl. 10 — 12,ff as well as with 

* Trav. into the East, vol. ii. p. 126. 

t See Dr. Shaw, p. 341. t See Dr. James's Dispen. 

II La Roque, Voy. dans la Pal. p. 201. 

§Egmont Slid Heyman's I'lav. vol ii. p. 144. 

^ See Pococke's Trav. vol. ii, p. 75. ** Shaw and Russell- 

■\\ If the term translated summer fruits signifies all fruits of this class of 
plants, they might be melons tliat came to Gedaliah g;ithered ; though they 
could not well be tlie thii)p,s Ziba earrieil to David, which, more probably^ 
y.cre cucumbers. 


beans and lentils. Dr. Russell also tells us that llie 
squash comes in toward the end of September, and con- 
tinues all the year; but that the orange shaped pumpion 
is more common in the summer months. Of one or other 
of these kinds of fruit, I should think the writer of 2 Sam. 
designed to be understood : they are all more or less of 
considerable size ; they are contemporary with beans ; and 
fit for them that have to travel through a dry wilderness, 
in the latter part of the spring, when the weather grows 
hot, as Pococke found it, about which time, from the cir- 
cumstance of the beans and the lentils, it is plain that 
David fled from Absalom. 

If this be allon^ed, it ^vill appear that they were called 
summer fruits, from their being eaten to allay the summer 
heats ; not from their being dried in the summer, as Va- 
tablus strangely imagines 5^ nor from their being produc- 
ed only that time of the year ; for this passage shows 
that they were come to maturity before beans went out, 
and consequently before summer. 



Music so universally attends the Eastern feasts, that I 
should hardly make this chapter complete without some ac- 
count of it, and in particular of the faferef, which Isaiah de- 
scribes as used in their feasts along with wine, ch. v. 12. 

I mention this instrument in particular, because I have 
made several remarks relative to it. 

The first is, that the original word ^"jn tiqih, translated 
fahret, is to be met with about twenty times in the He- 
brew bible. About half that number of times it is trans- 
lated tahrety and as many times timbrel. How unhap- 
pily perplexing is this ! It is of very little consequence, 
perhaps, on various accounts, which word was used in 
our version ; but as there is but one in the original invari- 

* Vide Poli Syn. in Jer. xl. 10. 


ably, wLera tabret is used and where timbrel in our ver- 
sion, it would certainly have been expedient to have 6xed 
upon one English word. What is more extraordinary, 
where these words occur, there is no inlicnation in the 
margin of any of these places that. the other word might 
have been equally well made use of, excepting in Jer. 
xxxi. 4, where in the text it is rendered tabret, in the mar- 
gin timbrel. The tabret and the timbrel of the Scrip- 
tures do not mean two different instruments ; the word in 
the original is one in all the places in which those two 
words occur. 

Secondly, Whatever instrument of music was meant by 
the original word, it was made use of, v;e may be positive 
by females. Exod. xv. 20, Judges xi. 34, 1 Sara, xviii. 6, 
Ps, Ixviii. 25, Jer. xxxi. 4, are incontrovertible proofs of 
it. I think we may be sure it v»'as played on by men too, 
from 1 Sam. x. 5, I do not mention 2 Sam. vi 5, and 1 
Chron. xiii. 8, here, because what is said Psalm Ixviii. 25, 
renders their evidence dubious. 

Thirdly, Sir John Chardin, in one of his MSS. after 
describing an Eastern entertainment of music from Dr, 
Castell's Lexicon, in terms exactly of the same import 
with Dr. Russell's account of the Aleppine diff, tells us 
that the Eastern women hardly make use of any other in- 
struments but these. There are two sorts of them, he 
says, one has a membrane of skin, the other not, and this 
last kind is most used in the Indies, on account, I believe, 
of the great humidity there. And having afterward re- 
marked that the passages he had cited expressed women's 
playing on this instrument, he repeats it again, that the 
Eastern women scarcely touch any other instrument. If 
the female music of antiquity was as limited as it is now in 
the East, and I cannot help remarking, that the passages 
I have cited above, which speak of the women's playing 
on music, seem very much to limit them to timbrels or 
tabrets, they had then but one sort of instrument that 
they commonly played upon. 

My reader will now be curious to know, what Dr. Rus- 
sell says about the diff. The difFthen, according to him, 


"is a hoop, sometimes with pieces of brass fixed in it \^ 
make a jingling, over which a piece oi^ parchment is dis- 
tended. It is beat with the fingers, and is the true tym. 
panumof the ancients j as appears from its figure in several 

The ladies that do me the honor to peruse these pa- 
pers will not be pleased, I am afraid, wilh this description ; 
but as Russell tells us just before, that the ditf serves 
chiefly to beat time to the voice, it is possible it might be 
used only to regulate those fine voices of the damsels of 
Israel, which had no other attendant music, while the 
voices of their males, according to this writer, " is the 
worst of all their music, for they bellow so hideously that 
it spoils what without it would be in some degree harmoni- 

Dr. Russell describes but one kind of instrument of this 
§ort.f The hoop is covered wilh a skin at Aleppo, and 
as the humidity of the Holy Land is not greater, doubt- 
less so were the Jewish limbrels or tabrets. As it is 
beaten with their fingers, and those fingers are applied to 
a skin stretched over a hollow hoop, the description gives 
great life to the words of the Prophet Nahurn, who com- 
pares women's healing on their breasts, in deep anguish, 
to their playing on a tabret, ch. ii. 7. 



An attempt to ascertain wilh exactness all the kinds of 
musical instruments^ mentioned in Holy Writ, would 
probably be vain, certainly it would be useless, since in 
general the knowing that the'sacred writer is speaking of 
music is suflScient for us ; however, where things present 
themselves, without any attending difficulty, it would be 
wrong to neglect such notices ; and for this reason I would 

• Vol. i. page 154: 

t t)r, Russell MS. note, says, there is but one Itind of the dif, hut they 
ar© of different sizes. Edit. 


iDbserve here, that another instrument played upon in the 
Jewish feasts, according to Isaiah \. 12, may be deter- 
mined without scruple, I apprehend, to be a bagpipe. 

Dr. Russell observes of the diff, mentioned under the 
preceding Observation, that it exactly answers the Roman 
tympammi, as it appears in ancient relievos ; he also 
proves, by a quotation from Juvenal, that the Romans had 
the tympanum from Syria ; this Syrian instrument then 
is just what it was seventeen or eighteen hundred years 
ago. The same reasons that have kept it unaltered so 
many years, probably operated as many generations be- 
fore that ; and might equally preserve others of their mu» 
sical instruments unchanged. 

After mentioning the musical instruments they use at 
Aleppo, Dr. Russell adds, " Besides the abovementioned 
instruments, they have likewise a sort of bagpipe, which 
numbers of idle fellows play upon round the skirls of the 
town, making it a pretence to ask a present of such as 

An instrument used by the vulgar may be deemed to be 
as little liable to alteration as any, consequently this bag- 
pipe may be imagined to be very ancienti 

And, when I find that the same word bij Nebel, that 
signifies a goat's skin vessel, formed of the outer skin of 
that animal tied up close at the feet, and gathered together 
at the neck, used for carrying wine and other liquids 
in ; signifies also an ancient musical instrument, I ani 
strongly prompted to conclude the word means that kind 
of Syrian bagpipe that Russell speaks of ; audi cannot 
help wishing that very ingenious and modest author had 
given us a figure of it, as he has of five other instruments 
of music, made use of in that country. As for our trans- 
lators, they render nebel by the word viol, in Is. v. 12, 
and in four other places,f which word, according to John" 
son, signifies a stringed instrument of music, but most 

» Vol. i. p. 155. 

I Amos vi. 5, ch. T, S3, Is. xiv. 2, and in the margin of Is. xxii. 24. 
VOF,. IT. 18 


commonly by the word psaltery,^ which in the same dic- 
tionary signifies a kind of harp, beaten with sticks: very 
unlucky these translations, if nebel really signifies a bag- 
pipe ! 

Nor is it any objection to my supposition, that the ne- 
bel was an instrument that anciently was united with great 
pomp, as appears from Is. xiv. 11 ; for though we now 
very commonly associate the ideas of meanness and a 
bagpipe together, it does not follow they doin other coun- 
tries, or did so in other ages. A bagpipe was, some ages 
ago, I apprehend, a venerable kind of instrument in the 
northern part of this island. 

Of this instrument Dr. Shaw takes no notice, and there- 
fore supposes it is unknown in Barbary 

I have only to add, that I am very sensible, not only 
our translators, but the learned in general take the nebel 
to have been a stringed instrument ; and Pfeiffer, in his 
Collections,! has given us from Kircher, who is said to 
have taken it from an old book in the Vatican, a figure of 
the nebel sufficiently odd : 1 leave it to my reader to de- 
termine which sentiment is most probable»J 

*■* It is, however^ a quite different word in Dan. iii. 5, f, 10, 15, which i» 
rendered psaltery in our version. 

•|- Pfeifferi opera, torn. i. p. 296. 

± Bvthner, in his Lyra, observes, that the nebel ^^s like a leather bottle, 
but then explains himself as meaning something like the ancient Greek 
and Roman lyre, whose body was made of the shell of a tortoise ; See 
Phil. Trans. Abrid. vol. 4. part i. p. 474, but was a stringed instrument; 
and then cites Josephus, as saying that the kinnor was played upon with a 
plectrum, but the nebel, which ba»i twelve strings, wir!: tlui fingers. The 
authority of Josephus may be justly thought to be a great objection to ray 
supposition : but as his testimony is not perfectly decisive, with respect to 
the Hebrew instruments of music used before the captivity, ao I may add* 
that upon consulting Joseplius, I find he does not say the vACha. had twelve 
strings, but twelve soMnJs, and was plnyed upon with the fingers, "H/g 
ViiSKat.Sa)Si)iX(pBiyfov?t^o-uj-a,, Toi; ^akIuxok Kfiovncti" Ant. Jud. lib. vli. 
cap. 12, § 5. Is this description perfectly incompatible with a bagpipe .? 




Five or six sorts of public music are mentioned in the 
third of Daniel ; which are about the same number as are 
used by the bashaws at Aleppo. 

"The music of the country," says Russell,=^ "is of 
two sorts; one for the field, the other for the chamber. 
The first makes part of the retinue of the bashaws, and oth- 
er great military officers, and is used also in their garisons. 
It consistsof a sort of hautboy, shorter, but shriller than 
our's ; trumpets, cymbals, large drums, the upper head 
of which is beat upon with a heavy drumstick, the lower 
with a small switch. A vizier bashaw has nine of these 
large drums, while a bashaw of two tails has but eight, the 
distinction by which the music of one may be known from 
that of the other. Besides these, they have small drums, 
beat after the manner of cur kettle drums. This music 
at a distance has a tolerable good e{rect."f 

* Vol.i. p. 150. 


•f Mr. Drummond gives a similar account. The Eastern names which 
he gives us, speaking of the music of a Bashaw making his public entry in, 
to Smyrna, differ; but he mentions/re different kinds, and apparently 
means the same instruments. "Nothing more hideous can be conceived 
than the horrid sound of their instruments, especially as they were com- 
pounded. These consisted of a znniau, or pipe, about 18 inches in length, 
swelled toward the extremity ; nagara, or little kettle drums, no lai*ger 
than a common pewter plate; brass plates, which they call zd, or cymbals, 
■which a fellow gingled together; Sibiine, being an ugly imitation of a trum- 
pet; and downie, or large drums, of which the performers beat the heads 
■with a little short club, having a great round knob at the end, at the same 
time they tickled the bottom with a long small stick." Travels, p. 119. 

The two first of these, I imagine, but in an inverted order, may answer 
the two first terms ^'J*^p Ararnc, and ^H'plTjro mashroJceeta, raentkmed 
Dan. iix. 5, and translated cornet and Jiute. Whether there is any corres. 
pondence between the rest of the music of the modern bashaws, and ot 
king Nebuchadnezzar, I cannot say. 






The Easfern people are well known to carry with 
them in their journies several accommodations, and pro- 
visions in particular of various kinds ; for they have no 
inns, properly speaking.^^ They did so anciently.f 
But those that travel on foot with expedition, content 
themselves with a very slight viaticum. 

The writer of the history of the piratical states of Bar- 
bary, speaking of the great expedition of the natives of 
the country about Ceufa in carrying messages, some of 
them running one hundred and fifty miles in less than 
twenty four hours, J says, " their temperance is not less ad- 
mirable : for some meal, a few figs and raisins, which they 
carry in a goat's skin,!} serve them a seven or eight days' 
journey, and their richest liquor is only honey and water." 

* See Shaw's Preface, p. 14, note. f Judges xix. 18 — 20. 

i Dr. Russell asserts, |je never heard of any thing like this, and is confi- 
dent the account must be exaggerated : 1 ain also of the same opinion. 

11 Commentators seem to be at a great loss how to explain the basket 
and the store, mentioned Deut. xxviij. 5 — 17. Why Moses, who in the 
other verses mentions things in general, should in this case be so minute as 
to mention baskets, seems strange : and they that interpret either the first 
or the second of these words of the repositories of their corn, &c. forget 
that their barns, or store houses, ai'e spoken of presently after this, in 
Terse 8. Might I be permitted to give my opinion here, I should say, that 
the basket, 5<-£3 tana, in tliis place, means their travelling baskets; and the 
other woi'd, n*lKtyD masharet, their store, signifies their leather bags ; in 
bcth Avhich they were wont to carry things in travelling. The first of thcae 


Not very different from this is the account the sacred 
writer gives, of the provisions carried by David and his 
men, when Ihey went up with the Philistines to war 
against Saul, and which they had for their support in 
their hurrying pursuit after the Amalekites, as appears 
by what they gave the poor famished Egyptian, bread, 
water, figs, and raisins, 1 Sam. xxx. 11, 12. The bread 
of ihe Israelites answers the meal of the people of Barba- 
ry ; the figs and the rai&ins were the very things the 
Moors carry now with them. 

We do not find any mention of honey in this account 
of that expedition of David; but it is represented in other 
passages of Scripture as something very refreshing to 
them that were almost spent with fatigue, 1 Sam. xiv, 27, 

words occurs no where else ia the Scriptures, but in the account that is 
given us of the convenience in which tliey were to carry their first fruits to 
Jerusalem. Ihe other no where ; but in the descriptiou of the hurrying 
journey of Israel out of Egypt ; where it means the utensil in which they 
carried their dough then, which 1 have shown elsewhere in these papers 
means a piece of leather drawn together by rings, and forming a kind of 

Agreeably to this, Hasselquist informs us, that the Eastern people use 
baskets in travelling : for, speaking of that species of the palm tree which 
produces dates, and its great usefulness to the people of those countries, he 
tells us, that of the leaves of this tree they make baskets, or rather a kind 
of short bags, which are used in Turkey on journies, and in their houses, 
p. 261, 262. Hampers and panniers are English terms, denoting travelling 
baskets, as term seems to be an Hebrew word of the same general import, 
though their forms might very much differ, as it is certain, that of the trav- 
elling baskets mentioned by Hasselquist now does. 

In like manner, as they now carry meal, figs, and raisins, in a goat's 
skin, in Barbary, for a viaticum, they might do the same anciently; and 
consequently might carry merchandise after the same manner, particularly 
their honey, oil, and balm, mentioned Ezek. xvii. 17. They were the 
proper vessels for such things. So Sir J. Chardin, who was so long in the 
East, and observed their customs with so much care, supposed, in a manu- 
script note on Gen. xliii. 11, that the balm and the honey sent by Jacob 
into Egypt for a present, were carried in a goat, or kid skin, in which all 
sorts of things, both dr\ and liquid, are wont to be carried in the East. 

Understood after this manner, the passage promises Israel success ift 
their commerce, as the next verse, the 6th, promises them personal safety 
in their going out and in their return In this vie\r the passage appears 
with due distinctness, and a noble extent. 


29: which is enough to make us think they sometimes 
carried it with them in (heir journies, or njilitary expedi- 



In those dry countries they find themselves obliged to 
carry with them great leather bottles of water, which they 
refill from time to time, as they have opportunity ; but 
what is very extraordinary, in order to be able to do this, 
they, in many places, are obliged to carry lines and buck- 
ets with them.* 

So Thevenot, in giving an account of what he provid- 
ed for his journey from Egypt to Jerusalem, tells us, he 
did not forget " leather buckets to draw water with."f 
Rauwolff goes further, for he gives us to understand, that 
the wells of inhabited countries there, as well as in des- 
erts, have oftentimes no implements for drawing of water, 
but what those bring with them that come thither: for, 
speaking of the well or cistern at Bethlehem, he says,J it 
is a good rich cistern, deep and wide ; for which reason, 
" the people that go to dip water, are provided with small 
leathern buckets and a line, as is usual in these countries ; 
and so the merchants that go in caravans through great 
deserts into far countries, provide themselves also wilh 
these, because in these countries you find more cisterns or 
wells, than springs that lie high." 

In how easy a light does this place the Samaritan w^o- 
man's talking of the depth of Jacob's well, and her re- 
marking that she did not observe that our Lord had any 
thing to draw with, though he spoke of presenting her 
with water, John iv. 11. 

* Tkeyare always, says Dr. Russell, provided by travellers who cross the 
desert. Edit. 

t Parti, p. 178. t P. 312. 


Wells and cisterns differ from each other, in that the 
first are supplied with water by springs, the other by rain • 
both are to be found in considerable numbers in Judea, 
and are, according to Rauwolff, more numerous in these 
countries than springs that lie high, than fountains and 
brooks that are of running water. 

Some of these have been made for the use of the peo- 
ple that dwell in their neighbourhood, some for travellers, 
and especially those that travel for devotion. Thevenot 
found tw^o,^ made a little before his time for the use of 
travellers, by Turks of distinction, in the desert between 
Cairo and Gaza. And from a history d'Herbelot has 
given us,f it appears, that the Mohammedans have dug 
wells in the deserts, for the accommodation of those that 
go in pilgrimage to Mecca, their sacred cily, where the 
distances between such places as Nature had made pleas- 
ant for them to stop, and take up water at, were too 
great ; for he tells us, that Gianabi, a famous Mohamme- 
dan rebel, filled up with sand all the wells that had been 
dug in the road to Mecca, for the benefit of the pilgrims, &c. 

To conveniencies perhaps of this kind made, or renew- 
ed, by the devout Israelites in the valley of Baca, to fa- 
cilitate their going up to Jerusalem, the Psalmist refers 
in the Ixxxivth Psalm, where he speaks of going from 
strength to strength till they appeared in Zion. J 

• Part i. p. 179. \P.390. 

i Sir J. Cliardin observed this difference in the East between wells of 
living water and reservoirs of rain water, that these last have frequently, 
especially in the Indies, a flight of steps down to tlie water, that as the wa- 
ter diminishes, people may still take it up with their hands ; whereas he 
hardly ever observed a well furnished with those steps through all the 
East.* He concludes from this circumstance, that the place from whence 
Rebecca took up Avater, Gen. xxiv, 11, was a reservoir of rain water. This 
is the account that he gives us in his si.KtIi MS. volume, and it explains very 
clearly what is meant by liehecc^'s goiti^- dotvnio the well, Gen. xxiv. 16. 
But all reservoirs of rain Avater have not these steps. His mentioning 

* Of the fountains near Aleppo, says Dr. Russell, MS. nofe, on the 
Scanderoon road, there are steps that go down into the reservoir of sever- 
al of them. Ebit, 


This same scarcity of wafer makes them particularly 
careful to take up their lodgings, as Quich as possible, near 
some river, fountain, or well: for which reason there is, 
we may believe, less of accident than we commonly think 
of Jacob's lodging on the banks of Jabbok, Gen. xxxii. 
22, and the men of David waiting for him by the brook 
Besorj 1 Sam. xxx, 21, who could not hold out with him 
in his march. So Dr. Pococke tells us, that when he came 
to the fountain, which supplies the aqueduct of Tyre, he 
found there the great sheik of those parts with a consid- 
erable number of attendants, who had stopped there, but 
soon went away, it being usual with them to halt where- 
ever they find a spring.^ And for halting, such places 
are always preferred, for very obvious reasons. 



But, besides provisions for themselves, they are oblig- 
ed to carry food for the beasts on which they ride^ or 
carry their goods. That food is of different kinds. They 
make little or no hay in these countries, and are therefore 
very careful of their straw, which they cut into small 
bits, by an instrument which at the same time thrashes 
out the corn ; this chopped straw, with barley, beans, and 
balls made of bean and barley meal, or of the pounded ker- 
nels of dates,f are what they are won\ to feed them with. 

The officers of Solomon are accordingly said to have 
brought, every man in his month, barley and straw for 

llie Indies in particular shows, that in the nearer parts of the East tliey 
frequently are williout them, as well as those recepi:»c!es of water that are 
supplied by sprin^fs : so the well to which the woman of Samaria repaired, 
jt seems, was nothing but a reservoir of rain water, since our Lord oppos- 
es its waters, I think, to livir.g water, John iv. 10. If this remark be just, 
that which is now shown for that well cannot be the true place, for it is 
supplied by springs : Mr. Maundrell expresses a jealousy of this kind, but 
he touches upon it with a very gentle hand, p. 62, 63 

* Vol. ii. p. 81. t Maillet, Lett. ix. p. 8, and 13. 


the horses and dromedaries, 1 Kings iv. 28. Not straw 
to liiter theru with, there is reason to think, for it is not now 
used in those countries for that purpose ; but chopped 
straw for them to eat alone with their barley. The lit- 
ter they use for them is their own dung, dried in the sun, 
and bruised between their hands, which they heap up 
again in the morning, sprinkling it in the summer with 
fresh water, to keep it from corrupting."^ 

In some other places we read of provender and straw, 
not barley and straw : because it may be, other things 
were used for their food anciently, as well as now, besides 
barley and chopped straw, V^3 beleely one of the words 
translated provender, Is, xxx. 24, iinplies something of 
mixture, and the participle of the verb from which it is 
derived is used for the mingling of flour with oil ; so the 
verb in Judges xix. 21, may be as well translated, "he 
mingled (food) for the asses, a'nnn'? ^3'! veyahal lechamo- 
reem, as, he gave them provender, signifying that he 
mixed some chopped straw and barley together for the 
asses. And thus also barley and chopped straw, as it 
lies just after reaping unseparated in the field, f might 
naturally be expressed by the Hebrew word we trans- 
late provender, which signifies barley and straw that had 
been mingled together, accordingly seems to be so, Job 
xxiv. 6. They reap every one his corn in the field. 
" Heb, mingled corn, or dredge,'* says the margin. 
What ideas are usually aflSxed to secondary translation, 
I do not know; but Job apparently alludes to the prov- 

• Voy, dans la Pal. page 168. Dr. Russell confirms this account^ in a 
MS. note on this place. Edit. 

f For, according to Maillet, they immediately after reaping chop the 
straw, and tread out the grain in the field itself. 

In this state, says Dr. Russell, MS. note, the anin?,ftls v,ho tread the 
eorn eat it freely ; hut the usual provender is barley -nrinnowed and cleans- 
ed, which, when given to the cattle, is mixed with the chopped straw : 
the corn and straw being purchased separately at Aleppo, it is always 
judged necessary to mingle a little straw with the barley, to prevent, ac- 
cording to the common opinion, the horses from getting too fat. Edit, 

TOL. ir. 19 


ender, or heap of chopped straw and corn lying mingled 
together in the field, after having passed under the thrash- 
ing instrument, to which he compares the spoils that 
were taken from the passengers, so early as his time, by 
those that lived somewhat after the present manner of 
the wild Arabs, which spoils are to them what the har- 
vest and vintage were to others. To this agrees that 
other passage of Job where this word occurs, ch. vi. 5. 
Will the ox low, in complaint, over his provender.^ or 
fodder, as it is translated in our version ; when he has not 
only straw enough, but mixed with barley. 

The accurate Vitringa, in his commentary, has taken 
notice of that word's implying something of mixture 
which Is translated provender in Is. xxx. 24, but for want 
of more nicely attending to Eastern customs, though he 
has done it more than most commentators, he has been 
very unhappy in explaining.the cause of it; for he sup- 
poses it signifies a mixture of straw, hay, and bran. I 
Lave no where observed in books of travels^ that they" 
give their labouring beasts bran in the East, and hay is 
not made there ;=^ the mixture that is meant, if we are to 
explain it by the present Eastern usages, is chopped 
straw and barley. But the additional word there trans- 
lated clean, and in the margin leavened, which, Vitringa 
observes, is the proper meaning of the word, may be sup- 
posed to make the passage difficult. The Septuagint 
seem to have thought the words signified nothing more 
than straw mincrled with winnowed barley: and if the 
word translaled provender, though originally intended to 
express niixlure, might afterward come to signify uncom- 
pounded food, as Vitringa supposes, the passage is easily 
der.yphered ; for though the word translated clean does 
commonly signify leavened, or made sour, yet not always ; 
signifying sometimes mere mixing, as in Is. Ixiii. 1, where 

• To the testimony of other writers, concerning their not making hay, 
we may add that of Sir J. Chardin's MS. which, speaking of a passage of 
the v'llgar Latin translation, where the word fcenuiu, hay, is used, says,. 
This is an error, arising from not having known Arabia or the adjoining" 
counties ; for no hay is made any where there. 


It is used for staining a garment with blood, and so it 
may signify here, as the Sepluagint seem to have under- 
stood the passage, chopped straw, leavened or mixed 
with barley. But there is no necessity of supposing the 
word translated provender, is used in a sense different 
from its common and ancient meaning, and signifying un- 
compounded meat for catlle; that single word may be 
understood to mean chopped straw mingled with barley, 
since we find that barley, when given to beasts of labour, 
is sometimes mingled, or, to express it poelically, leaven- 
ed, with a few beans, to which therefore the Prophet 
might refer. 

The wild Arabs, who are extremely nice in managing 
their horses, give them no food but very clean barley.* 
The Israelites were not so scrupulous, as appears from 
the passage I cited relating to the provision made for 
Solomon's horses, but they may nevertheless think the 
cleanness of the provender a very great recommendation 
of it, and seem to have done so, since Isaiah, in the above- 
mentioned passage, speaks of leavened provender win- 
nowed with the shovel and with the fan. It is not the 
more important to them, as a good deal of earth, sand 
and gravel are w^ont, notwithstanding all their precautions, 
to be taken up with the grain, in their way of thrashing.^ 

But though the Israelites, were not so scrupulous as 
the Arabs, giving their beasts of burden straw as well as 
barley, yet it must have been much more commodious for 
them in their journeying to have carried barley alone, or 
balls of bean or barley meal, rather than a quantity of 
chopped straw, with a little other provender of a better 
kind ; and accordingly we find no mention made by Dr. 
Shaw, of any chopped straw being carried with them to 
Mount Sinai, but only barley, with a few beans intermix- 
ed, or the flour of one or other of them, or both, made in- 
to balls with a little water.J The Levite's mentioning 
therefore his having straw,!! along with other provender, 

* Voy. dans la Pal. page 167. t ^^^ Shaw, page 139. 

i Pref. page. xi. Il Judges xix. 19^ 


rather conveys the idea of his being a person in mean cir-» 
cumstances, who was not able to feed his asses with pure 
barley, or those other sorts of provender that Eastern trav» 
ellers are wont to carry with them. 



Different things which they want in travelling are 
clone up in different parcels, frequently in goat or kid skins, 
and often put into one large coarse woollen sack, guarded 
with leather. 

This is the account of Sir J. Chardin in his MS. but he 
is much more large and explicit on this subject in a note 
on Gen. xliv. 1, which therefore I here insert. "There 
are two sorts of sacks,* taken notice of in the history of 
Joseph, which ought not to be confounded ; the one sort 
of sacks for the corn, the other for the baggage, and every 
thing in general which a person carries with him for his 
own use. It has been already said, there are no waggons 
almost through all Asia, as far as to the Indies, every 
thing is carried upon beasts of burden, in sacks of woolj 
covered in the middle with leather, down to the bottom, 
the better to make resistance to water, &c. Sacks of 
this sort are called Tambellito They enclose in them 
(heir things, done up in large parcels. It is of this kind 
of sacks we are to understand what is said here, and 
through this history, and not of the sacks in which they 
carried their corn. It would be necessary otherwise to 
believe that each of the Patriarchs carried but one sack 
of corn out of Egypt, which is not at all likely, or reason- 
able to imagine. The test upon which I make this re- 
mark confirms rny opinion, and that these sacks of which 
the Scripture speaks here were diflferent from the sacks 
of corn; for Joseph ordered them to fill them with vie- 

* They that consult the original, -will find there are two distinct words 
made use of there. 


tuals as much as they could hold, which presupposes they 
were not full of corn. Gen. xlii. 27, furnishes another 
proof of this, One of them opened his sack to give his ass 
provender in the inn; for if this sack had been a sack of 
■wheat, if would follow, (hat they gave their beasts of bur- 
den wheat at that time for food, which is not at all prob- 
able. The translalors of the Bible, and expositors still 
more, have confounded themselves in many places, for 
"Want of knowing ihe country which served as a theatre to 
all Ihe transactions of the Old Testament, with respect to 
the customs practised there, and those things which are 
proper and particular to it, which cannot be well learnt 
but on the place itself." 

If these sacks are woollen, then the sackcloth with 
which the Eastern people were wont to clothe themselves 
at particular times, means coarse woollen cloth, such as 
they make sacks of, and neither haircloth, or rough harsh 
cloth of hemp, as we may have been ready to imagine,, 
for it is the same Hebrew word which signifies sacks, that 
is translated sackcloth. And as the people of very re- 
mote antiquity commonly wore no linen, there was not 
that affectation in what they put on in times of humilia= 
tion, as we in the West may perhaps have apprehended. 
They only put on very coarse mean woollen garments, in- 
stead of those that were finer, but of the same general na- 



If in some places where there are wells, there are no 
conveniencies to draw any water with, to refresh the faint- 
ing traveller, there are other places were the v/ells are 
furnished with troughs, and other contrivances for Ihe 
xvatering cattle that want to drink. 


The MS. C. tells us (here are wells in Persia and in 
Arabia, in the driest places, and above all in (he Indies, 
with (roughs and basins of stone by the side of them. 

He supposes the well called Beer-lahairoi, mentioned 
Gen. xvi. 14, was thu? furnished. I do not remember 
any circumstance mentioned in that part of the patriar- 
chal history that proves this; but it is suflScientlj appa- 
rent there, the well where Rebecca went to draw water, 
near the city of Nahor, had some convenience of (his 
kind ;=^' as also had the Arabian well to which the 
daughters of Jethro resoried.f Other wells, without 
doubt, had the like conveniencies, though not distinctly 



When they travel (o distant places, they are wont to 
send offtheir baggage to some place of rendezvous some 
time before they set out. 

The account that an ingenious commentator, whose ex- 
positions are generally joined to Bishop Patrick's, gives 
of a paragraph of the Prophet Ezekiel,J ought to be taken 
notice of here : it is, in a few words, this, "that the 
Prophet was to get the goods together, to pack them up 
openly, and at noonday, that all might see, and take no- 
tice of it ; that he was to get forth at even, as Dien do that 
would go off by stealth: that he was to dig through the 
wall, to show that Zedekiah should make his escape by 
the same means; that what the Prophet was commanded 
to carry out in the twilight, must be something different 
from the goods he removed in the day time, and therefore 
must mean provision for his present subsistence ; and (hat 
he was to cover his face, so as not to see the ground, as 
Zedekiah should do, that he might not be discovered." 

* Gen. xxlr. 20. f Exoil. ii. 16- + Chap. xii. 3—7. 


Sir John Charclin,on the contrary, supposes, there was 
nothing unusual, nothing very particular, in the two first of 
the abovementioned circumstances. His manuscript notes 
on this passage of Ezekiel are to the following purport. 
"This is as they do in the caravans: they carry out their 
baggage in the day time, and the caravan loads in the even- 
ing, for in the morning it is too hot to set out on a journey 
for that day, and they cannot well see in the night. 
However, this depends on the length of their journies ; 
for when they are too short to take up a whole night, they 
load in the night, in order to arrive at their journey's end 
early in the morning, it being a greater inconvenience to 
arrive at an unknown place in the night, than to set out on 
a journey then. As to his digging through the wall, he 
says Ezekiel is speaking, without doubt, of the walls of 
the caravansary. These walls, in the East, being 
mostly of earth, mud or clay, they may easily be bored 

I cannot, I own, entirely adopt either of these accounts 5 
Ezekiel's collecting together his goods, does not look like 
a person's flying in a hurry, and by sleallh ; and conse- 
quently his going forth in the evening, in consequence of 
this preparation, cannot be construed as designed to signi- 
fy a stealing away. These managements rather mark out 
the distance of the way they were going: going into cap- 
tivity in a very far country. The going into captivity 
had not privacy attending it ; and accordingly, the send- 
ing their goods to a common rendezvous beforehand, 
and setting out in an evening, are known to be Eastern 

On the other hand, I should not imagine it was the wall 
of a caravansary, or of any place like a caravansary, but 
the wall of the place where Ezekiel was, either of his ovrn 
dwelling, or of the town in which he then resided : a man- 
agement designed to mark out the flight of Zedekiah ; as 
the two first circumstances were intended to shadow out 
the carrying Israel openly, and avowedly, into captivity. 


Ezekiel was, I apprehend, to do two things; to imitate 
the going of the people into captivity, and the hurrying 
flight of the king : two very distinct things. The mourn- 
ful, but composed collecting (ogether all they had for a 
transmigration, and leading them perhaps on asses, being 
as remote as could be from the hurrying and secret man- 
agement of one making a private breach in a wall, and go- 
ing off precipitately, with a few of his most valuable 
effects on his shoulder, which were, I should think, what 
Ezekiel was to carry, when he squeezed through the aper- 
ture in the wall, not provisions. 

Nor am I sure the Prophet's covering his face was de- 
signed for concealment : it might be to express Zedeki- 
ah's distress. David, it is certain, had his head covered 
when he fled from Absalom, at a time when he intended 
no concealment;^ and when Zedekiah fled, it was in the 
nightjf and consequently such a concealment not wanted; 
not to say, it would have been embarrassing to him in his 
flight, not to be able to see the ground. 

The Prophet mentions the digging through the wall^ 
after mentioning his preparation for removing as into cap- 
tivity ; but it is necessary for us to suppose, these em- 
blematical actions of the Prophet are ranged just as he 
performed them. 

Sir John also applies this custom, of wailing some time 
at a general rendezvous before they set out, to Ezra's con- 
tinuing three days at the river Ahava, Ezra viii. 15: upon 
which he remarks, that they are wont to encamp after 
this manner four or five leagues from Bagdad, upon an 
arm of the Tigris, where the caravans always stay some 
days, to see whether they have got all things requisite for 
a long voyage, and whether nobody is left behind. J 

* 2 Sam. XV. 30. f 2 Kings xxv. 41, Jer. Hi. 7. 

+ Dr. Russell, has made the same remark in his MS. notes to this work. 




They set out, at least in their longer journies, with 
music ; for when the Prefetto of Egypt, whose journal the 
late Bp. of Clogher published, was preparing for his jour- 
ney, he complains of his being incommoded by the sons 
of his Eastern friends, who took leave in this manner of 
their relations and acquaintance before their setting out. 

This illustrates the complaint of Laban, Gen. xxxi. 27, 

Wherefore didst thou flee away secretly, and steal away 

from me ? and didst not tell me, that I might have sent 

thee away with mirth, and with songs, with tabret and 

with harp ? 

But the Prefetto takes no notice of a circumstance that 
frequently attends these travelling Eastern songs, though 
it illustrates another passage of Scripture, and that is the 
extemporaneousness of them. A guard of Arab horse- 
men escorted the gentlemen that visited Palmyra in 1751 : 
and when the business of the day was over, coffee and a 
pipe of tobacco was, the ingenious editor of those Ruins 
tells us, their highest luxury ; and when they indulged 
in this, sitting in a circle, one of the company entertained 
the rest with a song or story, the subject love or war, and 
the composition sometimes extemporary ."^ The extem- 
porary devotional songs then mentioned by the Apostle, 
1 Cor. xiv. 26, were by no means contrary to the turn of 
mind of the Eastern people. The songs of the Israelit- 
jsh women, when they came to meet king Saul after 
the slaughter of the Philistines by David, seem to have 
been of the same kind, for they answered one anotherj 
saying, Saulhas slain his thousands, and David his ten 

» p. 32. The extemporaneousness of the Eastern songs is very often 
jnentioned in the Arabian Nights Entertainments. 
YOL. II. 20 


The Psalois, the Hjmns, and Odes, mentioned by 
Saint Paul in his Epistle to the Colossians, ch. iii. 16, 
were apparently supposed to be of the same extemporary 
kind, (ox they were to be the vehicles of appropriate in- 
struction and admonition ; frequency of singing and ex- 
temporaneousness of composition, are both supposed there. 

These valedictory songs, however, which the Prefetto 
takes notice of, are not to be supposed to be a constant 
prelude to their journies, but only those of the most sol- 
emn kind ; and there is therefore an energy in those words 
of Laban, which ought to be remarked. Why didst thou 
not tell me, that I might have sent thee away, and taken 
my leave of my daughters, going such a journey, with all 
due solemnity, according to the custom of my country ? 



The common pace of travelling in these countries is 
very slow; other motions then must have appeared very 

The common pace of camels in travelling, the creature 
most frequently used, without doubt, in the country of Job, 
is little more than two miles an hour; so Plaistead sup- 
poses'^ he travelled through the desert at the rate of thir- 
ty miles a day, and that they were in motion thirteen 
hours each day ; which motion is at the rate of two miles 
and one third an hour. The reason of this very slow 
pace is, because the camels perpetually nibble every thing 
they find proper for food, as they pass along. 

Those that carried messages in haste moved very dif- 
ferently. It appears, by Esth. viii. 10, that the word 
runners, or posts, as we translate it, does not always sig- 
nify those that carried despatches on foot; and that they 

* Pa^e 81. 


sometimes rode droraedarieSj a sort of camel which is ex- 
trenielj swift. Lady Montague tells us, "that after the 
defeat at Peterwaradin, they far outran the swiftest horses, 
and brought the first news of the battle at Belgrade."^ 
Agreeably to this, Dr. Shaw assures us, that the Sheik 
that conducted him to Mount Sinai and rode upon a cam- 
el of this kind, would depart from the caravan where he 
was, " reconnoitre another just in view, and return in less 
than a quarter of an hour."f Even their messengers 
that run on foot with despatches, move with amazing speed 
in Barbary, they will run one hundred and fifty miles in 
less than twentyfour hours ; which is five times further 
than a camel caravan goes in a day. J 

With what energy then might Job say, ch. ix. 25, My 
days are swifter than a post ; instead of passing away 
with a slowness of motion like that of a caravan, my days 
of prosperity have disappeared with a swiftness like that 
of a messenger, carrying despatches, mounted on a drome- 

The man of patience goes on, and complains, they are 
passed aivay as the swift ships. I shall not examine 
what commentators have conjectured concerning these 
ships of Ebeh, but would set down the remark of Sir J. 
Chardin on this place, which I read, I confess, with some 
surprise. His manuscript note is tothispurpose : " Senaut, 
in his paraphrase describes these as vessels laden with fruit, 
whose mariners, apprehensive of their lading being in dan- 
ger of being spoiled, navigated them with all the sail they 
could make." Sir John, on the contrary, "believes this 
to be a great error of that learned, eloquent writer, and that 
Job is speaking of boats carried by the stream, not by the 
wind, down the Tigris, which pass along wilh extreme 
rapidity. The image is formed from these boats, and 
from those of the Euphrates." 

* Lett vol. ii. p. 75. | Page 167. 

i Dr. Russell declares, in a MS. note, that he never heard of any thing 
like this, and suspects the account to be highly exaggerated. Edit. 


Whatever may be the signification of (he ships of Ebeb^ 
vessels that inove swiftly are certainly meant. Many 
writers have imagined the words are to be understood of 
the boats of the Nile, and particularly of those extreme- 
ly light vessels made of the papyrus, of which Isaiah is 
supposed to speak, ch. xviii. 2. It is a happy thought in 
Chardin, I should apprehend, to refer the complaint of 
Job to the swift boats used in riv ers, near his own country, 
rather than to those of the Nile. God might be repre- 
sented, in the close of the book, as adducing, in his expos- 
tulations with him, instances of his power from the ends of 
the earth, for he is Creator of universal nature | but it is 
more natural to refer the images used in the complaint of 
an Arab, made to his own countrymen, to things in or near 
that country, rather than to what passed in Egypt. 

Be this, however, as it may, I cannot apprehend the 
supposition just, that those boats of antiquity, formed of 
the papyrus, moved with superior rapidity to other ves- 
sels. Things of so slight a texture cannot be imagined to 
cut their way in the water with any force ; theirmoving 
against the stream must soon have demolished them, and 
their moving with the stream, but with a degree of celeri* 
ty far greater than the water, must have produced the like 
efFect.^^ Their celerity then could not have been very 
great, since the Nile, if Dr. Perry may be credited,! nev- 
er moves with a rapidity greater than that of three miles 
an hour, which is not one third faster than that of a com- 
mon caravan camel. " We have carefully examined," 

* If the stream moved "wllh a rapidity marked out by the letter A, and 
the papyraceous boat with a superadded degree of velocity expressed by B, 
much more considerable than A, the whole velocity of the boat would be 
equal to A+R, and the resistance from the water the same thing, I imagine, 
as if the vessel moved in a stagnant lake with a force equal to B ; which 
force, if considerable, must soon have destroyed so delicate a structure. 
And agreeably to this apprehension, their barques used now on the Nile, 
ure universally of sycamore, and tliose tender vessels no more made use of: 
at least I do not remember any modern traveller that has mentioned hi'" 
having seen there any boats made of the papyrus. 

t Page 475, 


says this author, " the degree or quantity of the Nile's 
current, at ditferent seasons of the year ; and though in 
the month of August, the time of its inundation, it runs 
near three miles an hour, yet in the month of November 
it did not run above two miles an hour ; and in the months 
of April or May, no more than half a league." 

Accordingly, when Dr. Perry went up the Nile, a run 
of about thirty leagues as he reckoned, cost him three 
days, though for two of them they had a fair and strong 
gale of wind. This was no more than a caravan pace, 
reckoning it at a medium. And Captain Norden was six- 
teen days sailing an hundred leagues up the Nile, or three 
hundred miles; and if we suppose his barque was in mo- 
tion but ten days out of the sixteen, and thirteen hours in 
the day, it was only caravan pace. He was eleven days 
coming the same length of way down stream; so that he 
cannot be imagined, if we make great allow^ances for stop- 
ping, though he returned with the stream, to have come 
down more than forty miles a day, which is no extraordi- 
nary rapidity. The cause of this might be the wind's 
being commonly in the North, consequently against his 
return; but so it generally is in Egypt. I cannot then 
apprehend the motion of the boats of the Nile was so ex- 
tremely swift, as to be used as an allusion by an Arab, 
that is supposed to have resided in a country considera- 
h\y remote. 

But I cannot, on the other hand, see any reason to sup- 
pose with Sir John Chardin, that Job referred to boats 
on the Euphrates, or on the Tigris, which is supposed to 
be still more rapid, carried by the stream alone, without 
the adventitious help of sails. ^ I cannot see v/hy he 
may not be conceived to represent his days of prosperity 

* The boats which are used on the Euyihrates and Tigris for transporting' 
passengers or merchandise are called doneks or kiraffes, and Avitli all the 
help of sails, oars, current, &c^ scarcely ever go more than^T'e miles in 
the hour ; often only three, as they are frequently obliged to track, i.e. to 
draw them by men on the banks, as we do our canal boats. See Jacksou's 
Jonrney overland from India, p. 59. Edit. 


as passing away with the swiftness of a courier on a 
dromedary, instead of moving on with the gentle pace of 
a common camel ; as running away with the speed of a 
boat sailing down the Euphrates with a strong and fair gale 
of wind, instead of sliding gently along like some float, or 
other vehicle used in that river, and carried with no other 
force than that of the stream, in the stiller season of the 
year; yea, as passing away with a celerity resembling 
that of an eagle, when hastening to its prey. 

Various are the inventions the people of these countries 
still make use of to float down their rivers: they are ex- 
tremely simple, and some of them, without doubt, as an- 
cient as the age of Job ; and to a comparison made be- 
tween them and vessels with sails, I should, without hes- 
itation, suppose he refers; and those of the Euphrates, 
without going to the Nile, without doubt, answer his views. 



As their horses eat chiefly barley, so they do not eat 
it out of a manger as with us, but out of bags of hair cloth, 
which are hung about their heads for Ihat purpose : they 
have no mangers in the East. 

D'Arvieux informs us, that the Arab horses are fed 
after this manner out of bags ;^ and Thevenot tells usf 
they are made of black goats' hair, and that they use no 
manger for feeding their horses, neither in Persia nor 

What then are we to understand by the manger in 
which our Lord was laid in his infancy ? Or are their 
customs changed as to this point ? 

Sir John Chardin, in his MS. note on Luke ii. T, sup- 
poses that by a manger is meant one of those holes of 

• Voy. dans la Pal. p- 168. f Part ii. p. 113. 


stone, or good cement, which thej have in the stables of 
their caravansarais, which are very large, and long enough 
to lay a child in. It is somewhat unlucky that he has not 
told us what those holes are made for; however, this ac- 
count supposes they really have no mangers there. "^^ 



As caravans are oftentimes yery numerous, so they 
are composed of people of different countries very fre- 
quently ; but they are denominated a caravan of the peo- 
ple that are most numerous in it, and to which the captain 
of it belongs. 

So we call one a caravan of Armenians, says Sir .T. 
Chardin, in his MS. because it is chiefly composed of Ar- 
menians, and because the Caravan Bashaw is of that na- 
tion, though there are Turks, &:c. in the caravan, as well 
as Armenians. 

He applies this observation to solve a difficulty men* 
tioned by St. Austin ; the calling the caravan of merchants, 
to which Joseph was sold by his brethren, sometimes Ish- 
maelites, sometimes Midianites ij- he supposes it was 
principally composed of Ishmaelites, but that there were 
Midianites among them, to whom Joseph was sold. 

* Dr. Russell, in a MS. note on this place, supplies Sir J. Chardin's defect : 
*• Mangers like those in England the Eastern people have not, for they have 
no hay ; but in their stauies they have stone troughs, in luhich they lay the 
fodder. When they tie down their horses in the court yard, or campagnia, 
they use sacks." In such a place, our blessed Lord must certainly have been 
laid; but for this conjecture there is no necessity, as the original word, 
<^aiTva, signifies not only a mang-er, but a stable also, and in this sense alone 
I am persuaded it should be understood in the text. Jiud she brought forth 
her Son, her firstborn, and rolled him iri straddling clothes, and laid him 
fv <r« p*TV», in the stable, because there tvas no roinnfor him in the inn, 
Luke ii. 7. Res ipsa loquitur, they were obliged to lodge in the stable, be- 
cause the inn was full before they arrived. Edit. 
t Gen. xxxvii. 25, 28, 3Q^ 


I mention this, merely, as it is a circumstance of Easf- 
crn travelling that may give some amusement : for the 
true solution seems to me to be, that they were Ishmael- 
ites who dwelt in the land of iVlidian who composed the 
caravan, and to whom Joseph was sold. It appears from 
Judges viii, 2*2, 24, that Ishmaelites and Midianites were 
names sometimes applied to the same people : and as the 
descendants of IVlidian were not Ishmuelites, for Midian 
was a son of Abraham by Keturah, as Jshmael was by 
Hagar; the Ishmaelites, or some of the Ishmaelites, must 
have been Midianites by dwelling in the land of Midian. 
And though people of different nations, without doubt, 
travelled in ancient times in the same caravan, as they do 
now, yet the terms are so indiscriminately made use of in 
the history, Midianites and Ishmaelites, that we cannot 
so naturally explain Moses, by saying Joseph was sold 
to Midianitish merchants travelling in a caravan of Ish- 
maelites, as in the manner 1 have been pointing out. 



The editor of the Ruins of Palmyra tells us,^ that the 
caravan they formed, to go to that place, consisted of 
about two hundred persons, and about the same number 
of beasts of carriage, which were an odd mixture of horses, 
camels, mules,f and asses; but there is no account of any 
vehicle drawn on wheels in that expedition; nor do we 

* Page 34. 

•j" Besides mules, which are not uncommon in England, but appear much 
more frequently in the East, particularly in Arabia, Sir J. Chardin says, in 
his MS In this country there is also another animal of a mixed nature, 
begotten by an ass upon a cow, which he had seen. Shaw mentions the 
same, as met with in Barbary, where it is called kumrah, p 166. Anah, 
Gen. xxxvi 21, seems to have been the first that thought of the propagation 
of such a creature as a mule j to whom the kumrah is to be ascribed does 
not appear. 


find an account of such thing;? in other Eastern jour- 

There are, however, some vehicles among them used 
for the sick,* or for persons of high distinction. So Pitls 
observes, in his account of his return from Mecca, that at 
the head of each division some great gentleman or officer 
was carried in a thing like a horse litter, borne by two 
camels, one before and another behind, which was cover- 
ed all over with searclotb, and over that again with 
green broadcloth, and set forth very handsomely. If he 
had a wife attending him, she was carried in another. 
This is apparently a mark of distinction. 

There is another Eastern vehicle used in their jour- 
nies, which Thevcnot calls a coune. He tells us,f the 
counes are hampers, like cradles, carried upon camels' 
backs, one on each side, having a back, head, and sides, 
like the great chairs sick people sit in. A man rides in 
each of these counes, and over them they lay a covering, 
which keeps them both from the rain and sun, leaving as 
it were a window before and behind upon the camel's 
back. The riding in these is also, according to Mai!let,J a 
mark of distinction : for, speaking of the pilgrimage to 
Mecca, he says, ladies of any figure have litters; others 
are carried sitting in chairs, made like covered cages, 
hanging on both sides of a camel; and as for ordinary 
women, they are mounted on camels wit Lout such con. 
veniencies, after the manner of the Arab womeUjH and 

* Maiilet, Lett, dern, pyge 230. f P^it i. page 1~7, 178. 

J Lett. dern. page 220. 

y Rachel seems to have been brought away by Jacob out of Mesonota- 
mia hi tlie same manner, Gen. xxxi. .34, consLMjuently she rode upon au 
hiran, after the Arab mode, which is a piece of serge, la Koque tells us, 
page 127, of liis Voyage into Palestine, about six ells long, laid upon the 
saddle, which is of wood in tiiese countries, in order to make the sitting 
more easy ; and which hiran, he informs us, is made use of as a mattress, 
when they stop for a night in a place, and on which they Iodide ; as their wal- 
lets serve for cushions, or a bolster. It was the hiran, I presume, part of 
the camel's furniture, under whicli she hid her father's Terapliim, and on 
which she sat, according to their customs, in her tent, and therefore un- 
suspected. Sir J. Chardin's MS. mentions this circumstance, and it is, I 
think, a very natural illustration of the passage. 
VOL. II. 21 


cover themselves from sight, and the heat of the sun, us 
well as they can, with their veils. 

These are the vehicles which are in present use in the 
Levanf. Coaches, on the other hand, Dr. Russell as- 
sures us, are not in use at Aleppo; nor do we meet with 
any account of their coffimonly using theai in any other 
part of the East : but one would imagine, that if ever 
such conveniencies as coaches had been in use, they 
would not have been laid aside in countries where ease 
and elegance are so much consulted. 

As the caravans of the returning Israelites are describ- 
ed by the Prophet,* as composed, like Mr. Dawkins's to 
Palmyra, of hoises and mules, and swift beasts; so are 
we to understand, f imagine, the other terms of the litters 
and connes, rather than of coaches, which the margin men- 
tions ; or of covered waggons, which some Dutch com- 
Dientators,f suppose one of the words may signify, un- 
luckily transferring the customs of their own country to 
the East ; or of chariots, in our common sense of the 

For though our translators have given us the word char- 
iot in many passages of Scripture, those wheel vehicles^ 
which those writers speak of, and which our version ren- 
ders chariots, seem to have been mere warlike machines ^ 
nor do we ever read of ladies riding in them. On the 
other hand, a word derived from the same original is made 
use of for a seat any bow moved, such as the mercyseat, 
1 Chron. xxxviii. 18, where our translators have used the 
"jvord chariot, but which was no more of a<:hariot, in the 
common sense of the word, than a litter is ; it is made use 
of also, for that sort of seat, mentioned Lev. xv. 9, which 
they have rendered saddle, but which seems to mean a 
litter, or a coune. 

In these vehicles many of the Israelites were to be con- 
ducted, according to the Prophet, not on the account of 
sickness, but to mark out the eminence of those Jews, 

"* Is. Ixvi. iJC. I Vitringa. 


and fo express the great respect their conductors should 
have for thera. 



The Eastern swords, whose blades are very broad, are 
worn by the inhabitants of those countries under their 
thigh, when they travel on horseback."^ 

The MS. C. takes notice of these particulars, in two 
notes on Judges iii. In one of them he mentions the last 
of these circumstances after this manner: the Eastern 
people have their swords hanging down at length, and 
the Turks wear their swords on horseback under their 
thigh. Psalm xlv. 3, and Cant. iii. 8, show they wore 
Ihem after the same manner anciently. f 



Where travellers are not so numerous as in caravans, 
(heir appearance differs a good deal from that of those 
that journey among us. To see a person mounted, and 
attended by a servant on foot, would seem odd to us : and 
it would be much more so to see that servant driving the 
beast before him, or goading it along : yet these are East- 
ern modes. 

So Dr. Pococke, in his account of Egypt, tells us that 
the man, the husband, 1 suppose, he means, always leads 

* The sword, says Dr. Russell, MS. note, is fixed on the sadille by a girth. 

f The passage alluded to does not clearly prove this : the long swords or 
cimeters hang down upon the back part of the thigh almost to the ground* 
but are not girt on the thigh. The passage in Judges refers to a concefilcd 
sword or weapon, not wore in the usual fashion. Edit. 


the lady's ass Ihere; and if she has a servant, he goes oh 
one side: but (he ass driver follows the man, goads on the 
beast, and when he is to turn, directs his head with a 

The Shunamite, when she went to the Prophet, did not 
desire so much attendance, only requested her husband 
to send her an ass, and its driver, to whom she said, Drive, 
and go forrvard, slack not thy riding for me, except I 
bid thee, 2 Kings iv. 24. It appears from the Eastern 
manner of the women's riding on asses, that the word is 
rightly translated drive, rather than lead; and this ac- 
count of Dr. Pococke will also explain why she did not 
desire two asses, one for herself, and the other for the ser- 
vant that attended her. 

Solomon might refer to the same, when he says, I have 
seen servants npon horses, and princes walking as ser- 
vants npon the earth, Eccl. x. 7. My reader however 
will meet with a more exact illustration of this passage in 
a succeeding chapter. 



They that travel on foot are obliged to fasten their 
o-arments, at a greater height from their feet than they 
are wont to do at other times. 

This is what some have understood to be meant by the 
girding their loins: not simply their having girdles about 
them, but the wearing their garments at a greater height 
than usual. 

There are two ways of doing this. Sir J. Chardin re- 
marks in his MS. after bavins informed us that the dress 
of the Eastern people is a long vest, reaching down the 
calf of the leg, more or less fitted to the body, and fasten- 
ed upon the loins by a girdle, which goes three or four 

» Vol. i.p. 191. 


limes round them. " This dress is fastened higher up 
two ways: the one, which is not much used, is to draw 
up the \est above the girdle, just as the monks do when 
they travel on foot ; the other, which is the common way, 
is to tuck up the foreparts of the vest into the girdle, and 
so fasten them. All persons in the East that journey on 
foot always gather up their vest, by which ihey walk more 
coramodiously, having the leg and knee unburdened and 
unembarrassed by the vest, which they are not when that 
hangs over them.'* And after this manner he supposes 
the Israelites were prepared for their going out of Egypt, 
when they eat the first passover, Exod. xii. 11. 

He takes notice, in the same passage, of the singularity 
of their having shoes on their feet at that repast. They 
in comn)on, he observes, put ofFtheir shoes when they eat, 
for which he assigns two reasons : the one, that, as they 
do not use tables and chairs in the East, as in Europe, but 
cover their floors with carpets, they might not soil those 
beautiful pieces of furniture; the other, because it would 
be troublesome to keep their shoes upon their feet, they 
sitting crosslesged on the floor, and having no hinder 
quarters to their shoes, which are made like slippers. 

He takes no notice in this note, of their having to eat 
this passover with a staff in their hand ; but he elsewhere 
observes, that the Eastern people very universally make 
use of a staff when they journey on foot ; and this passage 
plainly supposes it. 



There are roads in these countries, but it is very easy 
to turn out of them, and go to a place by winding about 
over the lands, when that is thought safer. 

Dr. Shaw takes notice of this circumstance in Barbary,^ 
where, he says, they found no hedges, or mounds, or en- 

* Pref. page 14, 15. 


closures, io retard or molest (hetn. To this Deborah 
doubtless refers, though the Doctor docs not apply this 
circumstance to that passage, when she says, In the days 
of ^hamgar, the son of Anatlif in the days of Jael, the 
highways were unoccupied, and the travellers walked 
through byways, or crooked ways, according to the mar- 
gin. Judges V. 6. 

The account Bishop Pococke gives^ of the manner in 
which that Arab, under whuse care he had put hioiself, 
conducted him to Jerusalem, ijlustiates this with great 
liveliness, which his lordship tells us wa-j by ni<iht, and 
not by the highroad, but through the fields; "^and I ob- 
served," says he, " that he avoided as much as he could 
going near any village or encampment, and sometimes 
stood still, as I thought, to hearken." And just in that 
manner people were obliged to travel in Judea, in the days 
of Shamgar and Jael. 

We are not howe\er to imagine there are no enclosures 
at all; they have mounds of earth walls, or living fences, 
about their gardens. So RauwolfF tells us, about Tn|:oli 
there are abundance of vineyards, and gardens, enclosed 
for the most part with hedges, between which gardens run 
several roads, and pleasant shady walks: these hedees, 
he says, chiefly consist of the rhamniis, paiiuris, oxya- 
cantha, phillyrea, lycium, balaustium, rubus, and dwarf 
palmtrees.f The gardens about Jerusalem he describes 
as surrounded by mud walls, not above four feet high, 
easily climbed over, and washed down by rain in a very 
little time. J So, agreeably to the first, we read of persons 
being sharper than a thorn hedge, Mich. vii. 4 ; and 
answerable to the second, of breaking a hedge^ or wall of 
earth rather, it being a different word from the other, and 
being bitten by a serpent, Eccl. x. 8. 

Rauwolff'^s enumeration of the shrubs that are used in 
the East for fencing, shows that not only are vegetables 
armed with spines employed there for that use, but others 

* Vol. ii. t Page 21, 22. + Page 236. 


also. This is confirmed by Hasselquisf, who tells us,^ 
(bat he saw the plantain tree, vine, the peach, and the 
niLf'htrry tree, all four made use of in Egypt to hedge 
abovil a garden, in which sugarcanes and different sorts of 
ciicuinbers were planted : now these are all unarmed 
plants. This condidftration throws a great energy into the 
words of Solomon, Prov. xv. 19, The way of a slothful 
man is a hedge of f horns, it appears as difficult to him, 
not only as breaking through a hedge, but even through a 
thorn fence; and into that threatening of God to Israel, 
Behold, I 7vill hedge up thy way with thorns, Hos. ii. 6. 
As however their plantations of various esculent vege- 
tables are not, unfrequently, now unenclosed in those coun- 
tries, so Sir John Chardin seems to suppose, in his MS. 
it was so there anciently, and that on this account it was 
those lodges and booths were made, which Jsaiah refers 
to in the eighth verse of his first chapter. The daugh- 
ter of Zion is left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge 
in a garden of encumbers. He describes these lodges as 
places defended from the sun by sods, straw, and leaves, 
made for the watching the fruits of those places, such as 
cucumbers, melons, grapes, &.c. when they begin to ripen ; 
under which they also sell the produce of such gardens. 
After which he remarks, that the Armenian version trans- 
lates those words of the 80(h Psalm, They have made Je- 
rusalem desolate, by this expression, they have made it 
like the lodges of those that watch fruit^f 

» Page 111. 

f Locus cespitibus, stramentis, et froudibus, a radiis soils munitiis, pro 
custodiendis friictibus. Comme concombres, melons, raisins, et aulres ne 
3ont en jardins, ni en lieux enferraes, Sec. desque's commencent a meurir, 
on y batit des telles logettes, poui' las garder, et aussi pour vendre les 
fruits etles legumes dessous. Figure tres naive. In Psalm \\\x. feceriou 
turue Jerusalem desolatam, Armeniaca Biblia habent, tugiiria custodieU" 
Hum fimcius. 

J)r Russell observes, that these lodges are found even ^vhere the garilen 
\% surrounded v^'iih. a wall. Edit, 


As it was SO easy to get over some of their fences, such 
vvatchhouses might be very requisite in such gardens as 
had hedges, but they must have been more necessary still 
in those that were perfectly open. Several travellers have 
taken notice of such improved spots of ground, which 
they have met with from time to time ; and cucumbers 
have been expressly mentioned, as one thing they have 
cultivated, in such places, =J^ as the Prophet here particular- 
izes that species of vegetables, a lodge in agarden of cu- 

As grapes also, according to Sir John Chardin, are 
found among other things in such cultivated spots, and 
must be doubly delightful to those that travel in a deso- 
late kind of country, there is reason to believe there is a 
reference to such plantations in Hos. ix. 10, I found Is- 
rael like grapes in the wilderness ; not I found Israel 
when they were in the wilderness, pleasant to me as grapes ; 
but as grapes found in some cultivated place in a wilder- 
derness are pleasant to a traveller through such deserts so 
has Israel been to me. 

Sir John Chardiu mentions these open plantations of 
esculent vegetables in another note, on Jer. iv. 17, which 
place. is hi2.hly illustrated by it. The Prophet says, As 
keepers of a field are they against her round about ^ &.c. 
on which he remarks, that "as in tlie East, pulse, roots, 
&,c. grow in open and unenclosed fields, when they begin 
to be fit (o gather, they place guards, if near a great road 
more, if distant fewer, who place themselves round about 
these grounds, as is practised in Arabia." 

He also, in a note on Mic. vii. 1, takes notice of the 
fondness of the Persians, and Turks, for their fruits as soon 
as they approach to ripeness ; the Persians especially, 
who eat almonds, plums, melons, before they are ripe, 
the great dryness and the temperature of the air prevent- 
ing flatulencies. 

* Thevenot, part 2. p. 41. Phil, Trans. Abr. vol. iii. p. 489. 




One would have i/nagined, that in so warm a climate 
as Judea, and the neighbouring countries, these living 
fences would have been thought sufficient for their vine- 
yards; but it seems stone walls are frequently used. 

Thus Egmont and Heyman, describing the country 
about Saphet, a celebrated city of Galilee, tell us, " the 
country round it is finely improved, the declivity being 
covered with vines supported by low walls. ^ 

The like management, it seems, obtained anciently; 
Prov. xxiv. 31, speaking of a stone wall about a vineyard : 
and walls being mentioned by Job, in connexion, 1 think, 
with treading wine presses, ch. xxiv. 11. Our transla- 
tors indeed understood the passage otherwise, " Which 
make oil within their walls, and tread their wine presses, 
and suffer thirst;'' but it is extremely difficult to tell 
what greater hardship attended making oil within walls, 
than in the open air; nor does any contrast appear be- 
tween their labour as to this and what followed, as there 
does between treading wine presses, and suffering thirst, 
in the following part of the verse, and in that threatening 
of the Prophet Micah, Thou shall sow^ hut thou shall not 
reap ; thou shall tread the olives, but thou shall not 
anoint thee with oil ; and sweet wine, but shall not drink 
wine.-\ Those words then of Job are mistranslated, and 
the version of Schultens to be adopted, inter yedamenta 
eontm meridiantur, they work at midday among their 
rows of vines; or rather, more conformably to our trans- 
lation, and to the preceding account of Egmont and ITey- 

■ * Vol. ii. p. 39, 40. At Aleppo, Dr. R. says, MS. note, most of the vine- 
yards are fcQced with stone Avails. In several plaoes, a hedge Avould not 
jrow well from lack of moisture. Edit. 

tCh. vi. iv, 
VOL. If. . 2*2 


man, " (hey work at midday among their walls, they tread 
wine presses, and suffer thirst." 

Buxtorff^ supposes this sense of the word r)'}}\if shiirotk, 
is properly Chaldaic, because the Chaldee Paraphrast 
every where uses the term '^)w s/wr for the Hebrew word 
riDin chomah, a wall ; but if this should be admitted, it af- 
fords no argument against the book of Job being written 
by Moses, according to the common supposition, since he 
uses the like term in the same Chaldaic sense in the Pen- 
tateuch, Gen. xlix. 22. 

Possibly the guarding against the depredations of jack- 
als, was one reason inducing them t6 build walls about 
their vineyards, since we are assured by Hasselquist,f 
" that these animals are very numerous in Palestine, es- 
pecially during the vintage, often destroying whole vine- 
yards, and fields of cucumbers. If it was, there was 
something extremely sarcastic in those words of Tobiah 
the Ammonite, Even that which they build, if a fox 
[a jackal] go up, he shall even break down their stone 
walls, Nehem. iv. 3. If a jackal should set himself to 
force a way through, he should break down their stone 
wall, designed to defend their capital city, but not so 
strong as a common vineyard wall : well might Nehemiah 
say, when he was told it, Hear, O our God, for we are 
despised: and turn their reproach upon their own head, 
ver. 4, 

The insupportable heat of midday in these countries 
has been taken notice of in a preceding chapter ; to which 
might be added, in this place, the great augmentation of 
the heat to those that are near walls, from the reflected 
rays of the sun, which is so great, that Dr. Russell tells 
us, that had not Providence wisely ordered it, that the 
westerly winds are the most frequent in summer at Alep- 
po, the country would scarcely have been habitable, con- 
sidering the intense heat of the sun's rays, and reflection 
from a bare rocky track of ground, and from the white 
!?tone walls of the houses. 

* Epit. Ra<]. 11 fib. I Page isr. 


And as Hasselquist observes,^' that the wWd beasts, 
particular!}' the jackals, had their passages and habitations 
in the live fences near Joppa, it is quite natural to sup- 
pose this was one reason, at least, of raising stone walls 
about their vinejards. 



That numbers of the Israelites had no wood growing 
on their own lands, for their burning, must be imagined 
from the openness of their country. 

It is certain, the Eastern villages now have oftentimes lit- 
tle or none on their premises : so Russell says,f that incon- 
siderable as the stream that runs at Aleppo, and the gar- 
dens about it, may appear, they, howe\er, contain almost 
the only trees that are to be met with for twenty or thirty 
miles round, *' for the villages are destitute of trees," J and 
most of them only supplied with what rainwater they can 
save in cisterns. D'Arvieux|| gives us to understand, 
that several of the present villages of the Holy Land are 
in the same situation; for, observing that the Arabs burn 
cowdung in their enc.ampments,§ he adds, that all the vil- 
lagers, who live in places where there is a scarcity of 
wood, take great care to provide themselves with suffi- 
cient quantities of (his kind of fuel. This is a circumstance 
I have elsewhere taken notice of. 

The Holy Land appears, by the last observation, to 
have been as little wooded anciently as at present; nev- 
ertheless, the Israelites seem to have burnt wood very 
commonly, and without buying it too, from what the 
Prophet says. Lam. v. 4, We have drunken our water for 
mo7iey, our wood is sold to us. Had they been wont to 

* Page 15. t Vol. i. p. 3, &c. and 543. + Page 9- 

II Voy dans la Pal. par la Roque, p. 193. 
§ They use sheepdung also. Edit. 


buj (heir fuel, they would not Lave complained of it as 
such a hardship. 

The true account of it seems to be this : The woods of 
the land of Israel being from very ancient times common, 
the people of the villages, which, like those about Aleppo, 
had no trees growing in them, supplied themselves with 
fuel out of these wooded places, of which there were ma- 
ny anciently, and several that still remain. This liberty 
of taking wood in common^ the Jews suppose to have 
been a constitution of Joshua, of which they give us ten ; 
the first, giving liberty to an Israelite to feed his flock in 
the woods of any tribe : the second, that it should be free 
1o take wood in the fields any where. "^ But though this 
was the ancient custom in Judea, it was not so in the 
country into which they were carried captives; or if this 
text of Jeremiah respects those that continued in their 
own country for a while under Gedaliah, as the ninth 
verse insinuates, it signifiesj that their conquerors pos- 
sessed themselves of these woods, and would allow no fuel 
to be cut down without leave, and that leave was not to 
be obtained without money. It is certain, that presently 
after the return from the captivity ; timber was not to be 
cut without leavcj Neh. ii. 8. 



However open as these countries are in cooimouj 
there are some dangerous passes. So Manndrell, de- 
scribingf the passage out of the jurisdiction of the Ba- 
shaw of Aleppo into that of him of Tripoli, tells us, the 
road was rocky and uneven, but attended with variety. 
" Sometimes it led us under the cool shade of thick trees i 
sometimes through narrow rallies, watered with fresk 
murmuring torrents : and then for a good while together up- 

* Yids Re!. Pal. p. 201. t P3S« ^> ^'' 


an the brink of a precipice. And in all places it treated 
us with the prospect of plants and flowers of divers kinds | 
as myrtles, oleanders, cyclamens, &c. Having spent 
about two hours in this manner, we descended into a low 
valley ; at the bottom of which is a fissure into the earth, 
of a great depth ; but withal so narrow, that it is not dis- 
cernible to the eye till you arrive just upon it, though to 
the ear a notice of it is given at a great distance, by rea- 
son of the noise of a stream running down into it from the 
hills. We could not guess it to be less than thirty yards 
deep. But it is so narrow, that a small arch, not four 
yards over, lands you on its other side. They call it the 
sheikhs wife ;^ a name given to it from a woman of that 
quality, who fell into it, and, I need not add, perished." 

May not Solomon refer to some such dangerous place 
as this, when he says. The mouth of a strange rvoman is 
a deep pit : he that is abhorred of the Lord shall fall 
thereirii Pro v. xxvii. 14 ; and, An whore is a deep ditch; 
and a strange woman is a narrow pit, Prov. xxiii. 27 » 
The flowery pleasures of the place, where this fatal pit 
was, make the allusion still more striking. How agreea- 
ble to sense the path that led to this chamber of death* 



La Roque, describing, from the papers of d'ArvieuXj 
the hospitality maintained in the Arab villages, tells us, 
that as soon as the sheik, who is the lord of it, is informed 
that strangers are coming, he goes to meet them ; and, 
having saluted them, marches before them to the Menzil, 

* The countries here described are mountainous and well wooded ; but 
the plains are without wood in most places. On this passage Dr. Russell 
further observes, MS. note, the traveller was, if 1 am well informed, mis- 
taken here ; this fissure is in Arabic called \y^^J iJUu shuck a} 
jaooz, T/ie old -ivoman^f; chasm, Epjt. 


or place set apart for the reception of strangers: if they 
are disposed to dine or lodge in the village. But la 
Roque gives us to understand, that frequently these trav- 
ellers only just stop to take a bit, and then go on; and 
that in such case they are wont to choose to stay out of 
the village, under some tree ; upon which the sheik goes 
or sends his people to the village to bring them a colla- 
tion, which, as there is no time to dress meat for them, 
consists of eggs, butter, curds, honey, olives, and fruit, 
fresh or dried, according to the time of year; and after 
they have eaten, they take leave of the sheik, who com- 
monly eats with them, and at least bears them company, 
thank him, and pursue their journey.^ 

This, besides the use I made of it in another place, 
may serve to explain that passage in which our Lord 
represents a great man's making a supper, and, on being 
disappointed of guests, sending first for the poor of the 
place, and then for those in the highways and hedges^ 
who were to be compelled to go and fill the house, Luke 
xiv. 23. Those in the highway were strangers passing 
on without any intention of stopping; and those under 
the hedges, where travellers frequently did sit down, 
such as had even declared an averseness from staying any 
time', and only just sat down a moment to take a little re- 
freshment. The sheltering themselves under trees and 
hedges, is not important, as some eminent commentators 
have imagined; their being the poorest and most helpless 
of travellers, which does not at all agree with the pressing 
them to come in, as some of them have themselves re- 
marked, for such must be supposed to have been ready 
enough to come ; but that circumstance points out their be- 
ing strangers, by no means inclined to receive such a favour, 
as it would so retard them as to break their measures. 

The running to and fro by the hedges, nm:3 baggeder- 
oih, which a Prophet speaks of,f refers to something 
very different from this, and has been unhappily explain- 
ed. Some have supposed, it signifies hiding in the thick- 

* Yov. dans la Pal. p. 125. I Jer. xlix. 3. 


ets ; but the word nmj gederoth, does not signify hedges ^ 
strictly speaking, but rather the walls of a garden, and 
consequently thickets cannot be meant. Others suppose 
the meaning of the passage is, that their cities should be 
destroyed, and only the Tillages of Ammon should re- 
main, among which they were to lament ; but garden 
walls, as well as hedges, were about their cities, and not 
about their villages, if we may judge of antiquity by mod- 
ern managements : so Rauwolff describes the gardens 
that lie about Tripoli, and mentions those of Jerusalem, 
as Maundrell does those of Damascus; whereas the vil- 
lages, according to Russell, cited under the last Obser- 
vation but one, have no trees about them.^ Others im- 
agine, Jeremiah bids them hide in their gardens; but, I 
believe, no instance can be produced, where these were 
thought to be fit places of concealment in time of war, 
I would dismiss therefore all these conjectures, and ob= 
serve, that their places of burial in the East are without 
their cities, as well as their gardens, and consequently 
their going to them must often be by their garden walls ; 
that the ancient warriors of distinction, who were slain in 
battle, were wont to be carried to the sepulchres of their 
fathers, as appears by the cases of Josiah, Ahab, and 
Asahel ;f and that they often go to weep over the graves 
of those they would honor, and especially at first :J ob- 
servations which, put together, sufficiently account for 
the passage. 



The hospitalUy of the East toward travellers has been 
greatly celebrated, and it has been represented as their 
favourite virtue ; but it appears sometimes, however, a 

* Except where there is running water, and then there is generally some 
plantation. Edit. 

t 2 Kings xxxiii. 29, 30, 1 Kings .\xii. 37 f 2 Sam. ii, 52, ^ See chap. vi. 


mark of subjecfion, and not voluntary, and in such caseiS 
therefore, not much a ground of praise. 

Dr. Shaw takes notice of this circumstance, in the pre- 
face to his Travels in Barbary, but has not applied it to 
the elucidation of any passage of the Scriptures, and 
therefore it may be introduced among these papers. 

** In this country, says (he Doctor, speaking of Bar- 
bary, the Arabs and other inhabitants are obliged, either 
by long custom ; by the particular tenure of their lands ; 
or from fear and compulsion, to give the spahees, and their 
company, the moqunah, as they call it ; which is such a 
sufficient quantity of provisions for ourselves, together 
with straw and barley for our mules and horses. Besides 
a bowl of milk, and a basket of figs, raisins^ or dates. 
which, upon our arrival, were presented to us, to stay 
our appetites, the master of the tent, where we lodged, 
fetched us from his flock, according to the number of our 
company, a kid or a goat, a lamb or a sheep ; half of 
which was immediately seethed by his wife, and served 
up with cuscasooe ; the rest was made kabahy i.e. cut 
into pieces, ((m^vKAqv is the term, Hom. 11. A> ver. 465,) 
and roasted ; which we reserved for our breakfast or din- 
ner the next day.""^ 

In the next page of this preface, the Doctor says, 
"When we were entertained in a courteous manner, for 
the Arabs will sometimes supply us with nothing till it is 
extorted by force, the author used to give the master of 
the tent a knife, a couple of flints, or a small quantity of 
English gunpowder," &c. And observes afterward,f 
that to prevent such parties from living at free charges 
upon theai, the Arabs take care to pitch in woods, vallies, 
or places the least conspicuous, and that in consequence 
they found it difficult oftentimes to find them. 

The Arabs, who are strangers, permitted to feed their 
flocks and herds in that country, are not, it seems, the 
only people of those countries that are obliged to accom- 

* Page le. t Page !?'• 


modale the Turks, who have conquered those distiicls, 
when (hej lra\el, and also the cooipan^V they bring with 
them; but it is unwillingly, no virtue, but the effect of 
fear, and exacted as a mark of submission, due from the 
conquered to those that have conquered them. 

This management appears to be very ancient, and to 
be referred to in the Septuagint, translation of Prov. xv. 
17, and not improbably in the original Hebrew itself, and 
for that reason I have taken notice of it here ; though 
that passage is, 1 think, understood commonly, if not 
always, by moderns, of enterlainmenfs made by one's 
own countrymen and apparent friends, but who are really 
enemies, to some of their guests, or at least disposed io 
quarrel.* But the Septuagint understands it, and it 
seems more truly, of the forced accommodating of trav- 
ellers, which Arabs and conquered people were anciently 
obliged to submit to, as they still are. 

The words of the Septuagint may be seen below,f 
and they amount to this, *' better is a repast given to us 
on the road as strangers, consisting merely of herbs, with 
friendliness and good will ; rather than the setting before 
us a delicacy, and particularly the flesh of a calf, with ha- 

It was not unusual then, in the age and country of these 
ancient Greek translator?, for travellers to eat at the ex- 
pense of those that were not pleased with entertaining 
them ; and who sometimes would not do it, at least in the 
manner the traveller liked, without brawllngs, and a kind 
of force, which could not but produce hatred. So that, 
as it is now practised in Barbary by the Turks, it was 
formerly in like manner practised in Egypt, toward the 
Arabs that probably might then feed their flocks there, as 
they certainly do now, and toward the natural Egyptians, 
over whom the Ptolemies, with their Greek companions, 

* See Bishop Patrick upon the place. 

VOL. II. 23 


mijjiif fyrannize, as the Turks do at this time over tb6 
people of Barbary, 

It is possible this turn might then first be given to this 
proverb of Solomon ; but it is most natural to suppose 
this was the oria^inai meaning ofit, since the Hebrew word 
nn^x rti'z^c/ia/i, signifies provision for a journey, as Jer. 
xl. 5, where persons carried their food with thera ; 
and may as well signify the food that was wont to be 
given them, by those to whom they applied in journey- 
ing, when they travelled in inhabited countries, where 
they thought they had reason to expect they should be 
supplied, at free cost, wilh necessaries in their journeying. 
It ts indeed made use of even to express a quantity of 
provisions suflSc-ent for one day, like that given to trav- 
ellers, though allowed from day to day to those that were 
not travelling, but statedly treated after this manner; 
for it is used to express the daily allowances granted by 
Evilmerodarh, king of Babylon, to Jehoiachin, the Jewish 
royal captive, both by the Prophet Jeremiah and the 
Prophet that wrote the history of the Jewish Kings. ^ 

But can it be supposed that such forced hospitality, it 
may be asked^ came under the notice of Solomon ; or at 
least was requisite to be mentioned by him in his instruc- 
tions given the Jewish people? I would answer, many 
ppople resided at that time in his kingdom, who, we have 
reason to think, were on much the same footing with the 
conquered inhabitants of Barbary, of whom we read, 
2 Chron. ii. 17, 18, where they are called strangers, and 
were employed in works of hard labour, from which the 
Israelites were free. Now such might be under the like 
Eastern obligation to entertain those they lived under, in 
their travelling up and down ; as also might the people of 
the adjoining countries, who are said to have been under 
the dominion of king Solomon. f And as some might be 
C">urteous and subrnissive, others might be rugged, and 
refuse to kill a kid or a lamb for them, and endeavour Xo 
put off these undesired guests with meaner diet. 

* 2 Kings XXV. 30, Jer. lii. 34. f 1 Kings iv. 24. 


Nor would it have been a maxim unworthy of the care 
of Solomon, to instil into the minds of the Jewish people 
not to insist too harshly on these Eastern usages, vvilh re- 
spect to the strangers that lived among them, or the con- 
quered about them, from motives of tenilerness for the 
honor of the Jewish religion, as well as ihose of irue 
policy. Content yourselves with the refreshment deriv- 
ed from a repast of herbs, if they are only offered yon ; 
rather than strive to force them to give you a more hon- 
orable entertainment: for better is a repast on he bs 
with a good will and friendliness, than a feast on a fatted 
calf, wrung from them by severity and violence. 

It is indeed universally true, that a mean <neal, where 
peace and friendship reign, is better than a magnificent 
entertainment attended with strife; but as Soloason seems 
to speak of a repast in a joiirney, the explanation 1 have 
been giving appears to me to be the most natural. 

It only remains to inquire, what the herbs probably 
were, which it may be imagined might be set before a 
stranger of such a character, when on a journey ; as for 
the opposite, the flesh of a calf, we know, from several 
places of Scripture, it was looked upon to be a most delic- 
ious and honorable dish.'^ 

Solomon does not appear to have any particular spe- 
cies of herbs in view, and therefore it may be proper only 
just to give an account of what travellers, in the Levant, 
have actually seen made use of on such occasions. 

When Dr. Chandler was in the East, bread, fruit of 
various kinds, honey, eggs, fowls, kids, were what he often 
procured ; while some of his Eastern attendaats were satis- 
fied with some sour curds, salt cheese, and hard brown 
bread ; seldom mentioning any herbs as eaten by him or 
them in his excursions, and which therefore may signify 
that they were reckoned a still meaner diet ; but in one 
place, in Greece, he gives us an account of some green san-- 

* Gen. xviii. 7, 1 Sam. xxviii. 2i, l^c. 


phire, which wi^s gathered from a rock, and made part of 
his noontide repast.^ 

Baron de Tott, speaking of his going along with some 
natives of the country on a party of pleasure, from Con- 
stantinople to the Asiatic side of the Straits, where, in a 
beautiful meadow, coffee was taken in the Turkish man- 
ner, after covered chariots, drawn by small buffaloes, had 
well jolted the ladies, &c. tells us, they brought back 
with them from this excursion some curds, and some wa- 
lercresses gathered from the side of a spring.f 

Dandelion, according to Dr. Russell, is used at Aleppo 
in salading ; and summer savory, which being dried and 
powdered, and mixed with salt, is often eaten as a relisher 
with bread, serves many of the natives by way of break- 
fast in the winter season. J 

Bui M. Doubdan gives an account of a repast still more 
humble than what I have been menlionins;. Making an 
excursion with some Christians, he went from Jerusalem 
To a village called St. Samuel, because the sepulchre of 
that Prophet is supposed to be there. Leaving this town 
to the left, and going on a little further, they arrived at an 
excellent fountain, called by the same name, springing out 
of an huge rock, and shaded with small shrubs, where ihey 
stopped to dine in the fresh air on the grass : " I admired, 
while J was dining," says this writer, *' the sobriety of the 
Armenian Bishops and the Maronite monk, who would 
eat nothing, notwithstanding all our entreaty, but salading, 
without ^^ait, without oil, or vinegar, at the same time*re- 
fusing to drink a single drop of wine, but contentina; them- 
selves with merely the addition of bread and water; ex- 
cepting the Maronite, who drank a little wine, and eat an 
egs;; but would not refresh himself with meat as we did."|i 
It is true, this extreme lon-ness of living in these Ar- 
menian ecclesiastics was owing to superstition, but a se- 
cret haired \o their conquerors might produce a like effect, 

* Travels in Greece, p. 1S8. | Travels, part 1, p. 97. 

t Vol, i. 03, and i 15. |) Voy. de la Terra Sainte, p. 08. 


and dispose the strangers that dwelt in Judea, or in the 
neighbouring coiindies, to treal (heir Jewish superiors, 
when (hey journeyed among ihem, in much the same 
manner, when they thought they could give vent to their 
ill nature with safety : feeding them with watercresses, 
with dandelion, with powdered summer savory mixed with 
salt, or even with salading without salt, oil, or vinegar, in- 
stead of killing for them a calf, a kid, or a lamb. With 
such humble repasts, Solomon would have his servants 
and men of war occasionally content themselves, if they 
could not obtain better accommodations with peace; rath- 
er than strive by bitter contention and violence to procure 
better cheer, though by that means they might, possibly, 
gain some delicacy. How humane the royal instruction 
to his people, in that time of national prosperity ! It at 
once did honor to his government, and his religion, which 
forbade the vexing and oppressing strangers.^ 

If this is the true explanation of this passage, it was not 
understood with exactness by the authors, or at least the 
correctors of the vulgar Latin translation, for they under- 
stoodf the words to refer to the being invited to a repast 
by their neighbours and count-rymen, and consequently 
have lost what, I apprehend, may be (he peculiar force 
of the precept: but Protestants belie\e neither the in- 
fallibility of Sixtus V. nor Clement VIIJ. 

The account of Dr. Shaw, that they were wont to re- 
serve some part of what was provided for them, by (hose 
that received them over night, for their breakfast or din- 
ner the next day, may perhaps afford the simplest, and at 
the same time the happiest, explanation of the term 
iTTi^c-iov, made use of in the prayer our Lord taught his 

The learned know what tiresome, and, after all, unsat- 
isfactory accounts have been given of this word, rendered 

* Exod. xxii. 23, cli. xxiii. 9, Lev. xix. 33, 34, &c. 

f Melius est vocari ad olera cum charitate, qteuni ad vitiilum saginattnn 
aim odio, are the words of that translation. 


by our Iraslators dailj, Give 7is day by day our daily 
bread. The word has sometimirs been translated by those 
great swelling, and perhaps unmeaning, words of vanitv,* 
sijpersubstantial and superessenlial bread ;f but as ii<rtx 
signifies, in the New Testament, what a man live« upon,J 
nothing can be more natural, than <o the com- 
pound word g7ri«cr<o?, of that additional svpfly that was 
wnited, o c linplete the provision necessary for a day's 
eating, over and above what they had in their then posses- 

The apostles lived at that time very often on what, 
humanly speaking, were very precarious supplies, deriv- 
ed from i\\e hberalify of those that received them from 
time to time, perhaps from i\Ay fo ddy, into their houses, 
somewhat like the situation of Dr. Shaw and his compan- 
ions, when he travelled in Barbary : Take, said Jesus, 
nothing for your journey, neither staves, nor scrip, nei- 
ther bread, neither money ; neither have two coats apiece. 
And whatsoever house ye enter into, there abide, and 

thence depart And they departeds and went through 

the towns, preaching tlie Gospel, and healing every where, 
Luke ix. 3. Much the same are Ihe orders they receiv- 
ed in the next chapter jjj after which, in the 11th, follows 
St. Luke's account of that model of prayer our Lord 
taught his disciples, in which, as there are other clauses 
particularly suiting their then circumstances, there is this 
also, Give us day by day our daily bread, or that addi- 
tional supply of bread wanted from time to time to make 
up, in conjunction with that they might at any time have 
in hand, a sufficiency of food for their returning wants • 
a very proper supplication for their devotions in that 
very unsettled state, and agreeable to the modern cus- 
toms of the East, which allow them not to dismiss a trav- 
eller, who goes without money, without a viaticum, oi* a 
quantity of provisions sufficient for present support. 

* 2 Peter ii. 18. f Vide Wolfiura in Luc. 11. 3. + Luke xv. 12, 13. 
11 Luko X. 3—11. 


The form given by St. Matthew agrees with that of St. 
Luke in substance, but hus a few small variations. 
Among the rest, instead of lecommending to them to beg 
for the requisite addilion to their food from day to day, 
he teaches them to pray for the addilional bread they 
mii^ht want that very day, in which it seems, they had 
not enough with them for the whole of it, cautioning them, 
in that early stage of their attendance upon him, against 
an improper anxiousness for the morrow, ver. 25, and 
leading them, from the first, to depend on those unforeseen 
providential supplies on which they subsisted, after they, 
at the call of their Master, forsook their worldly occupa- 
tions to be with him, as witnesses of what he said and did. 
This is agreeable to what we find is practised in Barbary, 
w^here they are wont to give strangers provisions, suffi- 
cient to support them the first part of the day, on which 
they leave them, but no further, referring it to others to 
supply the wants of the coming evening. 



The demanding provisions with roughness and severi- 
ty by such as travel under the direction of government, 
or authorized by sovernment to do it, is at this day so 
practised in the East, as greatly to illustrate some other 
passages of Scripture. 

When the Baron de Tott was sent, in 1767, to the 
Cham of the Tartars, by the French ministry, as resi- 
dent of France with that Tartar prince, he had a mikman- 
dar, or conductor, given him by the pasha of Kotchim, 
upon his entering the Turkish territories, whose business 
it was to precede and prepare the way for him, as is usu- 
ally done in those countries to ambassadors, and such as 
travel gratis, at the expense of the Porte, or Turkish 


court. "^ This conductor, whose name, it seems, was All 
Aga, made great use of his whip, when he came among 
the poor Greeks of Moldavia, to induce them to furnish 
out that assistance, and those pro\isions he wanted for the 
Baron ;f for though it was represented as travelling at the 
expense of the Porte, it was reallj at the expense of the 
inhabitants of those towns or villages to which he came. 
The Baron appears to have been greatly hurt by that 
mode of procedure, with those poor peasants, and would 
rather have procured what he wanted with his money, 
"which he thought would be sufficiently efficacious, if the 
command of the mikmandar should not be sufficient with- 
out the whip. 

The Baron's account of the success of bis effiDrts is a 
very droll one, which he has enlivened by throwing it in- 
to the form of dialogues between himself and the Greeks, 
and Ali Aga and those peasants, in which he has imitated 
the broken language the Greeks made use of, pretending 
not to understand Turkish, in order to make it more mirlh- 

It would be much too long for these papers, and quite 
unnecessary for my design, to transcribe these dialogues ; 
it is sufficient to say, that after the jealousy of the poor 
oppressed Greeks of their being to be pillaged, or more 
heavily loaded with demands by the T(jrks, had prevent- 
ed their voluntary supplying the Baron for his money, 
Ali Aga undertook the business, and upon the Molda- 
vian's pretending not to understand the Turkish language, 
he knocked him down with his fist, and kept kicking him 
while he was rising ; which brought him to complain in 
good Turkish of his beating him so, v. hen he knew \ery 
well they were poor people, who were often in want of 
necessaries, and whose princes scarcely left them the air 
they breathed. "Pshaw! thou art joking, friend," was 
the reply of Ali Aga, " thou art in want of nothing, ex- 

* Memoirs, vol. i. part 2, page 10, &c. t P^go ^5, 6tc. 


cept of being well basted a little oftener; but all in good 
tinie. Proceed we to business. I must instantly have 
two sheep, a dozen of fowls, a dozen of pigeons, fifty 
pounds of bread, four oques"^^ of butter, with salt, pepper, 
nutmeg, cinnamon, lemons, wines, salad, an*! good oil of 
olive, all in great plenty." IVilh tears the Moldavian re- 
plied, " I have already told you that v/e are poor crea- 
tures, without so much as bread to eat. Where must we 
get cinnamon ?" The whip, it seems, was taken from un- 
der his habit, and the Moldavian beaten till he could bear 
it no longer, but was forced to (iy, finding Ali Aga inex- 
crable, and that these provisions must be produced; and, 
in fact, we are told, the quarter of an hour was not expir- 
ed, within which time Ali Aga required that these things 
should be produced, and affirmed to the Baron that they 
would be brought before the primate, or chief of the Mol- 
davians of that town, who had been so severely handled, 
assisted by three of his countrymen ; all the provisions, 
were brought without forgetting even the cinnamon. 

May not this account be supposed to illustrate that 
passage of Nehemiah, chap. v. 15; The former governors 
that had been before me, were chargeable unto the people^ 
and had taken of them bread a7id wine, besides forty 
shekels of silver : yea, even their servants bare ride over 
the people: but so did not /, because of the fear of God. 
It is evident something oppressive is meant. And that it 
related to the taking bread from them, or eatables in gen- 
eral, together with wine, perhaps sheep, fowls, pigeonsj 
butter, fruit, and other things, when probably they were 
travelling, or sojourning in some place at a distance from 
home. And that the like imperious and unrighteous de- 
mands had, from time to time, been made upon them by 
the servants of these governors, whoai they might have 
occasion to send about the country. 

I cannot account for the setting down the precise num- 
ber of forty, when speaking of shekels, but by supposing, 
* A Turkish weight of about fortytwo ounces. 
VOL. II. 21 


that the word besides here, nnx acher, should have been 
Iraiishted afterward, which it more commonly, if not 
more certainly, signifies ; and means, that afterward they 
were wont to coaimule this demand for provisions into 
money, often amounting to forty shekels. 

It is certain it could not mean the whole annual allow- 
ance to the g^overnor by the children ef the captivity, that 
would have been much too small ;^ nor could it mean 
what every householder was to pay annually toward the 
governor's support, for fifty shekels was as much as each 
mighty man of wealth was assessed at by Menahem, when 
he wanted to raise a large sum of money for the king of 
Assyria ;f and when Israel was not in so low a state as in 
the time of Nehemiah : it must then, surely, mean the 
value of that quantity of eatables and wine they might 
charge any town with, when single towns were charged 
with the support of the governor's table, for a single re- 
past, or a single day, which it is natural to suppose could 
only be when they thought fit to travel from place to 
place. This, it seems, their servants took the liberty too 
to require, when they were sent on a journey. And if 
they that belonged to the officers of the king of Persia, 
enforced their requisitions in a manner similar to that 
Diade use of by the people belonging to the Turkish gov- 
ernors of provinces, when they travel on a public account 
among the Greeks of Moldavia, it is no wonder that Ne- 
hemiah observes, with emotion, in this passage. Yea, even 
their servants bare rule over the people: but so did not 
/, because of the fear of Gob, 

Whether the preceding governors of the children of 
ihc captivity were all Jews, or not, is a matter not easily 
determined ; but it is apparent, from a passage of the 
book of Nehemiah, that they were not all of them zealous 
for the welfare of that people, and consequently might be 
ready to adopt the oppressive managements of other gov- 
ernors of the Persian provinces, and suffer their under 

* Somclhiag less than 15. sterling. j 2 Kings xv. 20, 


ofl5cers to do if. The passage 1 refer to is, ch. ii. 10, 
IVhen Sanballat the Horonite, and Tohiah the servant, 
the Ammonite, heard of it, it grieved them exceedingly 
that there was come a man to seek the welfare of the chil- 
dren of Israel. 

It may not be amiss to add, that Noldius has observed,=^ 
that Aben Ezra, a very celebrated Jewish rabbi, suppos- 
ed it was a different word that was made use of in his 
copy of the book of Nehemiah, and that the same reading 
appears in the Babylonian Gemara, which different word 
Aben Ezra apprehended meant, that these governors took 
from the people forty shekels of silver for the expense 
of one repast. 

Such commutations, or money given instead of provi- 
sions, may be met with, I think, in the accounts travellers 
have given of the managements of the East; certainly 
they have often taken place among the copyhold tenants 
of our manors. 

The supplying the people belonging to government 
with their provisions on particular occasions, is also what 
is meant, I apprehend by the prophet Amos, ch. v. 11, 
Forasmuch therefore as your treading is upon the poor, 
and ye take from him burdens of wheat ; ye have built 
houses of hewn stone, but ye shall not dwell in them, 8rc. 
The Bishop of Waterford has translated the original 
word n^is'D masath, gift, not burden, but as wheat is not 
wont to be demanded for those that travel on account of 
government, but bread, " fifty pounds of bread," said 
All Aga to the poor Moldavian, when he brought him by 
the force of blows to supply his demands ; so neither do I 
remember ever to have observed, in that variety of things 
that are made presents of in the East, that quantities of 
wheat were offered to great men ; I should rather be dis* 

* Concord, in voc. ^T\)^ Achar. Achad TlX is the word Aben Ezra read, 
resh L U and daleth \^\ being often changed one for the other, as being 
letters very much resembling each other, but! should prefer the common 


posed to believe that the translation of the Septiiaginl is 
more exact than our's, where (he words of the Prophet 
are rendered ^o^ociKhizrci) choice gifts, such as the cinna- 
mon of Ali Aga, as the words of Amos may be understood 
to mean a gift of something costly and of a select kind^ 
such as cinnamon, for instance, not to be procured with- 
out plunging them into difficulties, and consequerjtly be 
very oppressive ; whereas a moderate quantity of wheat 
must have been as easy to them to part with as many 
other things, whether presented in order to obtain some 
favour, or demanded as due by those that were travel- 
ling on behalf of government. 

So Sir John Chardin, speaking of the universal custom 
through the East of making presents to the great, say«, 
that ** every thing is received, even by the greatest lords 
of the country, fruit, pullets, a lamb. Every one gives 
■what is most at hand, and has a relation to his profession : 
and those who have no particular profession give money. 
It is an honor to receive piesen's of this s>ort. They re- 
ceive them in public : and even choose to doit when ihev 
have the most cotnpany. This custom universally ob- 
tains through the East ; and it is perhaps one of the most 
ancient in the world." 

If presents were made according to people's professions, 
a quantity of wheat from one in the farming way of life 
was not improper; nor Avas a stone of flour, or even a 
bushel of wheat, a n)ore oppressive gift to expect to de- 
mand than a fat Iamb. In one word, if the requisilion of 
wheat was really the thing that complained of as op- 
pressive, it must be the greatness of the quantity, not its 
being wheat. 



When the father in law of the Levitc, whose melan- 
choly history is given us in the 19th of Judges, was per- 


suading him to slay another night, he told him it ivas 
pitching time of the day^^ according to our marginal 
translation, that is, the time when travellers were w6nt to 
pilch their tents, for their lodging under them all night, 
and therefore isighlj improper then to begin a journev. 
This is very justly rendered in the body of our version, 
as to the sense, though not as to the turn of the original 
•words. The day groneth to an end : for, in the latter 
part of the aflernoon, Eastern travellers begin to look out 
for a proper place in which to pass the night. 

So it is said, in the preface to Dr. Shaw's Travels, 
" Our constant practice was, to arise at break of day, set 
foward with the sun, and travel till the middle of ihe af- 
ternoon ; at which time we began to look out for the en- 
campments of the Arabs ; who, to prevent such parties 
as our's from living at free charges upon them, take care 
to pitch in woods, vallies, or places the least conspicuous."! 

It might, very probably, be hardly so lale as the father 
in law would have had the Levite suppose ; but certainly 
too late to set out on a journey of some length, when oth- 
er people were near looking out for a place where they 
might coramodiously terminate the travelling of that day; 
and where safe and agreeable lodging places were not al- 
ways to be found. 

The term pitching, which refers to tents, is made use 
of, though it is evident the Levite had no tent with him : 
because many then actually travelled with tents ; and 
others that had none, required at least as much time to 
find out an agreeable resting place. Pitching time then 
•was some time before sunset, when e\ery body thought 
of preparing for their rest. J 

When Dr. Shaw, however, travelled after this man- 
ner, the setting out with the sun, and continuing his 
journey till the middle of the afternoon, it is probable it 
was in the more temperate part of the year; at other 
times they frequently find themselves obliged to travel in 

* Verse 9. f ^^Se 17. 'c Judges xix. 14— 16. 


the nighf, and pitch their tents in the forenoon ; th . event 
then which the sacred writer has recorded, relating to the 
Levite, seems to have fallen out in such a time of the year, 
and not during the summer heats, for in that case, the ob- 
serving that the daij drew toward a close, was no just 
reason to induce him to stay till the morning. According- 
ly it seems to have been in the spring : for Israel assem- 
bled to battle against Benjamin, presently after the har- 
vest was got in ; and after the few of Benjamin that sur- 
vived had continued four months in the rock Rimmon, the 
leaves were yet upon the vines. ^ 

I would only add further, that it is not to be supposed, 
that the Levite here ever attempted to set out fasting: 
the comforting his heart, which his father in law referred 
to, was the taking a more strengthening repast than the 
slight breakfast he had eaten early in the morning. What 
that was, we are not told; but the author of the History 
of the Revolt of Ali Bey, has told us what is the common 
breakfast the Arab villagers of the Holy Land are now 
wont to give to travellers ; for speaking of the necessity 
of spending one night on the road, between Joppa and 
Azotus or Ashdod, he says, "The resting place is at a 
village which lies on the left hand, about thirty yards out 
of the road; from whence, after breakfast, which usually 
is on milk, or bread and cheese, and coffee, and a pipe of 
tobacco, if he be fond of smoking, he, proceeds on his jour. 
iiey."f The coffee and tobacco belong to modern times, 
but the other articles very probably were presented hy 
the man of Bethlehem Judah to his son in law the Levite. 



Before this Levite, and those with him, could reach 
Gibea, the sun went down upon him, yet he found no diffi- 

* As appears pretty plain from Judg^es xxi. 20, 21. f ^^^S® *5*' 


culty as (o entering into that city ; and he had been some 
time in its street before an old man came out of the field, 
from his work ; probably then they did not shut their 
gates so soon as the going down of the sun, if all night 

A very ingenious gentleman supposes this last was the 
fact, as in those hot countries we find they frequently 
travel in the night, and sometimes arrive at midnight at the 
place of their destination. "^ To which he added, that he 
did not remember to have met with any account of trav- 
ellers finding the gates of a town shut, except in one single 
case, which is that of Thevenot, who could not get admit- 
ted into Suez in the night, and complains of the disagreea- 
bleness of being forced to wait some hours in the cold air, 
without the walls. 

I would here therefore observe, in consequence of this 
remark, that as the Scriptures suppose the gates of their 
walled towns were shut, especially in dangerous times, as 
we learn from Neh. vii. 3, I said unto ihem, let not the 
gates of Jerusalem be opened until the sun he hot ; and 
while they stand hy, let them shut the doors, and bar 
them ; so we find that what happened to Thevenot, at 
Suez, is not the only proof that they still continue to shut 
the gates of their towns through the night, at least in times 
of danger. 

Thus Doubdan, returning from the river Jordan to Je- 
rusalem, in the year of our Lord 1652, tells us, " that 
when he and his companions arrived in the valley of 
Jehoshaphat, they were much surprised to find that the 
gates of the city were shut, which obliged them to lodge 
on the ground at the door of the sepulchre of the blessed 
Virgin, to wait for the return of day, along with more 
than a thousand other people, who were obliged to con- 
tinue there the rest of the night, as well as they. At 
length, about four o'clock, seeing every body making for 
the city, they also set forward, with the design of enter- 

* See Luke xi. 5, and also Markxiii. 35, 


ing hy St. Stephen's gate, but they found it shut,' and 
above two thousand people, who were there in waiting, 
without knowing the cause of all this. At first they 
thought it might be too early, and that it was not customa- 
ry to open so soon ; but an hour after a report was spread 
that the inhabitants had shut their gates, because the 
peasants of the country about had formed a design of pil- 
laging the city in the absence of the governor and of his 
guards, and that as soon as he should arrive the gates 
should be opened. A little after another report was spread," 
&;c.^ Here we find the gates were shut, and continued 
to be shut a2;ainst thera, but it was owina' to some alarm 
which afterward appeared to be a violent disturbance 
raised in Jerusalem out of spite to the Christians. The 
shutting of the gates of Jerusalem, did not appear to them 
to be extraordinary ; but the refusing to let them in, when 
the return of the pilgrims could not but be expected about 
that time. Nehemiah also was in a state of alarm, when 
he gave such strict orders concerning 4he gates of Jerusa- 
lem : as were also the people of Jericho, who shut their 
gates immediately after their messengers were sent out of 
the city.f 

But the gates of Suez were shut all night in a time of 
peace : and so RauwoliT found the gate of Tripoli shut, 
when there was no particular alarm, about an hour after 
sunset, when he arrived at it, J which was opened to him 
through the interest of the European merchants of that 

The real state of things seems to be, that many of their 
caravansaries are without the walls of their cities ; that 
many private families reside in unwalled towns, to whom 
their friends may repair at midnight, without difficul- 
ty : and that as to towns with gates and bars, which 
are shut up all night, they ushjlly tale care, so to regu- 
late their times of journeying, as to get there before 

• P. 318, 319. t Josh. ii. 7. t Ray's Travels, part i. p. 19. 


their gates are shut, or not till they are opened, or on the 
point of being so. 



As we read the book of Tobit,^ it may possibly seem 
very strange to us, and by no means consonant to the cus- 
toms of the East, that when his son Tobias and his an- 
gelic, but disguised companion came to Ecbatane, to the 
house of Raguel, Sarah, Raguel's daughter, should be 
represented as meeting them : and, after saluting theraj 
as bringing them into the house, who appeared to her to 
be perfect strangers. Tobit vii. 1. 

But perhaps this may be removed, and the book might 
be written by one that lived in the East, and was ac- 
quainted with the customs there, if we consider, that 
though they appeared to be quite strangers, yet they 
were somehow understood to be Jews,f for Raguel imme- 
diately calls them brethren, v. 3 ; and though the Turkish 
women are now kepi, with great care, out of sight, the 
ancient Jewish females had more liberty, and even have 
to this day, in those countries. 

When Dr. Chandler first landed in Asia, he was receiv- 
ed by a Jew, wiio had connexions v/ith the English nation, 
and carried to his house, where he was agreeably receiv- 
ed and entertained, and, among other circumstances, he 
tells us, that the daughter of tiiis Jew saluted him, by 
gently kissing his hand. 

The daughter of Ragnel might then be supposed to 
have treated these strange Jews in the same manner, 

* That is in the Service of the Church of England. The reading of this 
silly legend, as appointed ia the Calendar, commences Sept. 27ih, and 
ends Oct. 4th. Edit. 

I Either by their language, or by their different dress. The Jews that 
inhabit Media, and its neighbouring provinces, are distinguished now by 
turbans, or bonnets of a different colour from those of other religious pro 
fessions, and other marks, mentioned by Chardin, tome ii. page 307. 

VOL. II. 25 


though the term that is made use of is by no means so de- 
terminate, and only expresses that she saluted them with 
affeclionate pleasure.* 

Perhaps Jacob's kissing Rachel, at their first inter- 
\ie\v,f is to be understood after the same manner^ but I 
much question whether the kisses of the harlot, mention- 
ed Prov. vii. 13, are to be supposed to have been equally 



The caravansaries of the East, in which travellers 
lodge, differ from those in which the merchants reside for 
a considerable time, in that these last have doors to their 
several chambers or rooms, which the others have not,J 
in which case, it must be particularly base to take advan- 
tage of such an unguarded situation, and of those that 
sojourn in them, namely strangers, perhaps even fellow 

To circumstances of this nature then I should sup- 
pose it is, that the son of Sirach refers, when he says, 
Be ashamed — of theft , in regard of the place where thou 
sojournest, and in regard of the truth of God and his 
covenant. \\ 

All theft is iniquitous, and consequently shameful | but 
it may be attended with circumstances of aggravation : a 
Iruth which all feel. It is mentioned as an alleviation of 
the crimes of a celebrated freebooter Robin Hood, in the 
reign of Richard I. that though he robbed the rich, he 
was kind and generous to the poor ; so those that rob at a 
fire are detested as the worst of villains, because of the 
distress of such a time, and the inability of the sufferer 
to guard entirely against such depredations. 

* Fj ^dLt^trtffiv. t Gen. xxix. 11, 

^ Yoy. de Chardin, tome i. p. 147, 148. || Ecclcsiasticus xli- ir, IS- 


It is of fbis comparative kind of shamefiilness that 
this ancient Jewish writer is evidentlj speaking, and in 
particular, of theft in a place of sojourning ; which seems 
to be explained by the rjature of the present Eastern 

To guard against this, Niebuhr tells us, that in Arabia, 
where the houses for lodging travellers are called simseras. 
and sometimes manzils, in the evening the door, and tijere 
is onlj one, is shut, and in some places notice is given in 
the morning, before it is opened, that travellers maj ex. 
amine whether thej have lost anj thing. ^ 

In the siraseras of Arabia nothing is to be had, in com- 
mon, but coffee, rice, bread, and butter.f This coffee 
is explained bj the preceding page to be nothing but a 
preparation from the husks that enclose the coffee berries ; 
and the bread is said to be made of durra, which is a sort 
of coarse millet ; along with camel's milk or butter.J 
This kind of milk is said there to be ropy, for if the fin- 
ger is taken out of it, after having been dipped into it, it 
draws out a long thread. But in one of these manzils, 
■when the master of it understood that they were Euro- 
peans, he would have killed a sheep for them, if they 
would have stayed, and actually caused wheaten bread 
to be made for them, and cow's milk to be brought, when 
Ee perceived they were not accustomed to camel's miik.j] 

The caravansaries of Persia have, it is said, better ac. 
commodations oftentimes, their keepers commonly selling 
to travellers what is wanted for the horses, and what is 
wanted for themselves, as bread, wine, in those places 
where it is plentiful, butter, garden stuff, fruit, fowls, and 
fuel. As for butcher's meat, they must fetch it from 
some neighbouring village, or the encampments of those 
that feed the flocks and herds of the adjoining country .§ 
Such well furnished resting places appear to have been 
known in Judea, in the time of our Lord, since he sup- 

» Voy. tome i. page 314. t In the same page. t Page 250. 

jl In the same page. § Voy. de Chardin, tome i. page 148. 


poses the good Samaritan committed the poor woundeci 
man to the care of the host, or keeper of the caravan-^ 
sarj, and promised at his return to pay him whatever 
things his state required, and that the keeper should fur- 
nish him with. See Luke x. 34, 35. This could not be 
a place like some of the Eastern caravansaries,* in which 
nothing is to be found but bare walls. 



There is a great deal of difference in these countrieSy 
between the several nations that inhabit them, with re- 
spect to the readiness of communicating of their provisions 
to their fellow travellers : the Arabs are very communi- 
cative; the Turks of a more sour and close disposition. 

I have somewhere met with a place, in our books of 
travels, where the w^riter was struck with the liberality of 
a poor muleteer, or camel driver, who with all cheerfulness 
made an offer of some of his bread and dates to those 
with whom he travelled, though the quantity that he had 
with him was very moderate ; while some rich Turks 
were very careful to take their repast in concealment and 

This is precisely, I imagine, what the author of Ec- 
clesiasticus had in view, when, after having spoken of 
thievishness in travellers as a just ground of shame, he goes 
on to add, and to lean with thine elbow upon meat, or, 
on the loaves of bread, Ecclus. xli. 19. For he had 
been speaking immediately before of travellers; what 
follows then may be naturally supposed to be nearly re- 
lated to them, as certainly the first clause of the next 
verse has a veryinlimate connexion with people in that sit- 
uation : Be ashamed of silence before them that salute th€e» 

* Or rather Turkish kajies, of many of which M. Maundrell gives thi^ 
Cescriplion, page 2. 


The atdtude in which the son of Sirach represents 
the man he is pointing out, is exactly descriptive of a 
traveller dismounted from his camel, his horse, or his ass> 
and sitting upon the ground, leaning with his elbow on 
his saddle, and so covering with his large sleeve the pro- 
visions he had in his lap, and eating his morsel alone, 
without the least notice of those about him. 

The leaning with his elbow on the saddle is precisely 
the posture in which the Baron de Tott represents All 
Aga, his conductor, as sitting when dismounted, not eat- 
ing indeed, but waiting for his supper ;'^ but might as well 
be represented as the posture of one taking his repast, 
especially if of an unsociable turn. 

We have an instance of this exchange of food in trav- 
elling, in the account Irwin has given of his passing 
through the deserts of Upper Egypt.f There, he tells 
us, " the captain of the robbers, he means the wild Arabs, 
made them a present of a bag of flour, which he under- 
stood they wanted ; and, when he would not accept a pe- 
cuniary return, they sent him half the rice they had, which 
proved a new and acceptable food to him." 

Such an intercourse appears amiable, while the contra- 
ry conduct is what this Jewish writer thinks may well 
occasion shame. At least this is, I think, the most natu= 
ral interpretation of this clause, 



The learned have been greatly dividedj in their opin- 
ions, concerning the true meaning of the particle arcag in 
John iv. 6, which is rendered thus in our version, Jesus, 
therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on 
the well: and it was about the sixth hour ; which every 

* Mem. tome si. p. 19. t Page 322. 

4: If any should doubt the truth of this fact, tl;ey may he abundantly sati8< 
Sed by the collections of the learned Wolfius, of Hamburg, upon this verso. 


bodj knows with the Jews meant noon. But an atten- 
tion to the usages of the East, and of antiquity, might, 
I think, ascertain its meaning with a good deal of exact- 

Our version of the word, thus, gives no determinate 
idea. We know, on the contrary, what is meant by the 
translation of a celebrated writer,^' who renders the word 
by the English term immediaiely, but that translation, I 
think, by no means the happiest he has given us. It con- 
veys the idea of extreme weariness: but nothing in the 
after part of the narration leads to such an interpretation ; 
nor can I conceive, for what imaginable purpose the cir- 
cumstance of his immediate throwing himself down near 
the well;, before the woman came up, and which, conse- 
quently, it is to be supposed she knew nothing of, is men- 
tioned by the Evangelist. Not to say that the passage 
cited in proof of this interprelafion. Acts xx. 11, which, 
instead of so he departed, he thought signified the imme- 
diateness of his departure, by no means gives satisfaction. 
It is not so expressed in his own translation of that pas- 
sage,! nor does it appear so to signify. 

The simple meaning, I apprehend, of the particle is, 
that Jesus, being wearied with his journey, sat down by 
the well, like a person so wearied, as to design to take 
some repose and refreshment there : to which St. John 
adds, it was about the sixth hour. If this be just, the 
translation should have been something like this : "Jesus 
iherefore being wearied with his journey, sat down ac- 
cordingly, or like such an one, by the well. It was about 
the sixth hour." 

The particle certainly expresses conformity to an ac- 
count to be given after; so John xxi. 1, Jesus shewed 

* See Doddridge's Exp. 

f Candour, however, here obliges me to observe, that great liveliness of 
thought and recollection, joined with great diligence, could not be imag- 
ined to be sufficient to preserve from such inaccuracies as these, more 
especially in a person honored indeed, but oppressed, with a vast variety 
«f cares. 


himself again to his disciples at the sea of Tiberias ; 
and ON THIS wise he himself referring to the account 
about to be given. And sometimes it signifies co??/ormt7i/ 
to an account that had been before given: so, John xi. 
47, 48, What do wej* for this man doth many miracles. 
If we let him Tuvs alone, after this manner doing many 
miracles, all men will believe on him. So ch. viii. 59, 
Then took they up stones to cast at him : but Jesus hid 
hiiiiself and went out of the temple, going through the 
midst of them, and so passed by: passed by, by hiding 
himself after this manner. 

Afler this latter manner it is to be understood, I think, 
here : Jesus being wearied wilh his journey sat down like 
a weary person by the side of the well, and in that atti- 
tude the woman found Iiira, preparing to take some repose 
and repast. The disciples, it is said, ver. 8, were gone 
away into the city to buy meat ; but it does not at all fol- 
low from thence that they all went, nor is it so probable 
that they did, leaving him alone ; but that, on the contra- 
ry, some of them stayed wilh him, making such prepara- 
tions as indicated a design in them to eat bread there. 

I have elsewhere shown, from the reports of those that 
have visited these countries, that it is usual for them to 
stop to take their repast in their journeying near water, 
and under the shade of trees, rocks, or something that 
may afford them shelter from the injuries of the air. Our 
Lord with his disciples seem to have had the same in- 
tention, and applied to this woman for water, of which, in 
those circumstances, she must have been sensible they 
stood in great need ; and had our Lord offered to pur- 
chase it, it does not appear that she would have been 
surprised, for water was frequently proposed to be pur- 
chased in those hot countries anciently ;^ and it appears 
from ver. 8, there was nothing extraordinary in the deal- 
ing of the Jews with the Samaritans, as to buying and sell- 
ing : what astonished her was our Lord's asking for water 
as a favour. 

* 3S"mnl>, sx. 10. 


It was indeed no more than had often been asked by, 
and granted to, strangers : what one, in particular, had 
done aforetime, who dwelt in the land of Canaan, and ask- 
ed the favour of a Syrian damsel to give him and his at- 
tendants drink, Gen. xxiv. 14, 18, where there was no ex- 
pression of surprise at it on either side. Nothing more 
than what has been done to strangers by the women of 
those countries in later times. "^ But there were no such 
friendly dealings, in common, between the Jews and the 

Their dealing with each other, as to buying and selling, 
unless where peculiar bigotry and illnature prevailed,f 
will show that the Jews might, in a peaceful state of 
things, without being much incommoded, pass through 
Samaria in their way to or from the Temple, in which 
country, though not a very broad one, they must have 
had continual occasion to take their repasts, and to 
lodge also, in their passing through it, especially if they 
did not travel with greater expedition, in that part of 
their journey, than Joseph and Mary are supposed to have 
done, in the first part of their return from Jerusalem to 
Galilee. Luke ii. 44.J 

• So'Haynes tells us, that arriving; at Nazareth, the latter end of De- 
cember, about five in the evening, p. 133, 134, upon entering " the town, 
we saw two women filling their pitchers with water, at the fountain I have 
already described, and afeout twelve others waiting for the same purpose; 
•whom we desired to pour some into a trough which stood hard by, that 
our horses might drink. We had scarce made the request, before they 
instantly complied, and filled the trough, and the others waited with the 
greatest patience." Upon returning them thanks, one of them with very 
great modesty replied, ** We consider kindness and hospitality to strangers, 
as an essential pai-t of our duty." Page 144. 

t Luke ix. 52, 53. 

± They -went, the Evangelist tells us, a day's journey, before theij souo-ht 
the child Jesus, -who they supposed was in the comparry ivith some of their 
relations or acquaintance ; now M. Maundrell assures ui., that according 
to tradition, it was at Beer that they sought bim, and that a church was 
built there, in memory of this circumstance, by the devout Empress Hel- 
ena, page C4 ; Beer, according to Maundrel!> was only three hours and a 
half from Jerusalem, page 60, or about ten miles: a day's journey then, 
in those circumstances, was only ten miles, but Samaria, though a narrow 
eouatry, was much broader than that. 


Wolfius has remarked, very justly, and I think some 
others,"^' that the Greek word ^tt* does not necessarily 
signify on; that our Lord sat on the building belonging 
to the well: either a circular low wall about it, like those 
used in country towns among us, as painters and carvers 
seem to have understood it; or on a more magnificent 
erection over so celebrated a well, as that of which the 
patriarch Jacob and his family had been wont to drink. 
It has been used for sitting not on but near a river, and 
so, according to modern Eastern usages, it is most nat- 
ural to understand it here, of sitting in a commodious place 
near that well. 

Whether the disciples had cords and a small leather 
bucket with them to draw with, which the Samaritaness 
di'l not remark ; or whether the disciples were to procure 
procc? implements in the city, which they were afterward 
to return, or at least, leave at the well for the use of its 
owner, who would soon have occasion to go thither ;f 
or whether they trusted to a favourable accident, as 
travelling people were very frequently coming to so 
( lebrated a well, does not appear. None of the conjec- 
turea 3s highly improbable. 

The time indeed when they wanted this assistance 
^as not the usual hour of drawing water by the inhabit- 
^ntSj though a common time for travellers to stop and 
iixke their repast. But it is to be remembered, when we 
find an inhabitant coming for water, that it was winter 
^ioie^J and consequently we may believe water might 
then be drawn at any time; at noon, as well as in the 
morning or evening, though these earlier and later sea- 
sons seem to have been those that were mostly made use 
of even in winter. Thus when Haynes travelled from 

* Wolfius on the place. 
f Thus Dr. Chandler, somewhere in his travels in the Lesser Asia, 
speaks of goat's skin with the hair on, made use of as a bucket, which was 
distended by a piece of wood, to which the rope was fixed, and which was 
left at a well by a benevolent peasant, who had before drawn water for them 
from thence, for their use while he was absent. 

\ See rer. 35, of this 4th. "f John. 
vol. ir. 26 


Cana fo Nazareth, in the depth of winter, for it was about 
the end of December, he found many women assembled 
at a fountain, to draw water at five in the afternoon, p. 
144, compared with p. 131 and 134, 

The coming then of the woman of Samaria to draw 
Water, just at noon, does not look as though our Lord 
was fatigued with the heat, as well as the length of the 
way, as some have conjectured. The air in those coun- 
tries, it is acknowledged, is frequently pretty warm rn 
the middle of the day, in the depth of winter; but had 
it been so then, the woman would hardly have gone to 
the well at noon for water ; she would, most probably, 
have stayed till the usual time, the evening, or fetch it 
in the morning. 

That travellers frequently stop at noon, in order to 
take some refreshment, is evident from a remark made by 
Plaistead : in giving an account of his traversing the 
mighty desert between Busserah and Aleppo, he tells us, 
p. 81, *' that the caravan with which he travelled did not 
stop to dine, as many caravans do, but travelled thirteen 
hours together." Blany Eastern travellers stop to dine, 
though some do not. No wonder our Lord then, who 
seems to have been afoot, and wearied with the length of 
his walk, stopped near so inviting a well. 

A considerable time after I had finished this article, I 
had the pleasure to find the very learned and accurate 
Bishop Pearce had made a similar observation on the 
meaning of the word i^rcog, in his Commentary and Notes 
on the Acts of the Apostles.* 



Though it must, one would think, be much more com- 
modious to carry water in skins or leather bottles, where 

* On chap. xx. ver. 11. 


water must be carried, and accordingly, such we find are 
generally made use of in the East in travelling ; yet, what- 
ever the cause may be, they sometimes content them- 
selves with earthen jars. 

Thus we find, in the beginning of Dr. Chandler's expe- 
ditions, in search of the antiquities of these cojntries, 
though he was equipped under the direction of a Jew of 
that country, of such eminence as to act as the British 
consul at the Dardanells, and was attended at first by him, 
yet the vessel in which their water was to be carried, 
was an earthen jar, which not only served them in the 
wherry in which they coasted some of the nearer parts of 
Asia Minor, but was carried upon the ass of a poor peas- 
ant, along with other luggage, when they made an excur- 
sion from the seaside up into the country, to visit the 
great ruin at Troas.'^ 

This may serve to remove our wonder that Gideon 
should be able to collect three hundred water jars from 
among ten thousand men,f for we have no reason to sup- 
pose, the method he was to make use of, to surprise the 
Midianites, was not suggested to him before he dismissed 
all the army to the three hundred. In an army of ten 
thousand Israelitish peasants, collected together on a sud- 
den, there might be many goat skin vessels for water, but 
many might have nothing better than earthen jars, since 
Dr. Chandler appears not to have been better equipped, 
at least at first ; and three hundred water jars, collected 
from the whole army, were sufficient to answer the views 
of divine Providence. 



The miargin of our translation remarks, that the word 
ns^K'-Dn chamusheemy rendered harnessed^ in Exodus xiii. 

* Page 25. t J"«1s*^s vii. 3, 16, 19, 20. 


18, signifies by jives, but wlien it adds, five in a rank, k 
seems to limit the sense of the tc;rm very imnecessarilj, 
as i( niaj as well signify five men in a company, or their 
cattle tied one to another in strings of five each. 

If there were 600,000 footmen, besides children, and a 
mixed multitude, together with cattle, the marching of five 
only abreast, supposing only one yard for each rank to 
move in, would make the whole length of this enormous 
file of people more than sixtyeight miles. ^ If we should 
suppose two such columns, and place the children, mixed 
multitude, and cattle between them, the length then of 
this body of people would be above thirtyfour miles. At 
the same time we cannot conceive any reason for such a 
narrow front, on the one hand, in such a wide desert, nor<> 
on the other, why they are described as marching five 
abreast, if there were many such columns. It would seem 
in such a case, to be a circumstance that required no par- 
ticular notice. 

Pitts tells us, that the Algerine armies, when they 
march, go only two abreast, and that at the same time 
each rank keeps at a considerable distance, so that a thou- 
sand men make a great show, and a very long train.f 
They have their reasons for so doing : they want to ap- 
pear as numerous as possible. 

For a like reason, the Indians of North America walked 
singly, and with great gravity, I apprehend slowly is 
meant, when they went in form, according to the honora- 
ble Mr. Colden,J on a warlike expedition. 

Moses had no such reasons; on the contrary, it must 
have been of importance to him, to draw the van and the 

* For 600,000 divided by 5, gives 120,000 ranks of five each, and their 
being only 1760 yards in a mile, the dividing 120,000 by 1760, will give the 
number of miles such a column of people would take up, which by such an 
operation will be found to be something more than sixtyeight miles, which 
the circumstances of the history will not easily admit of. 

f Account of the Religion and ^Manners of the Mohammedans, p. 30. 
± History of the five Indian Nations of Canada, pnge 7. 


rear nearer together, and consequently to make the 
breadlh of this vast body of people considerably large. 

Pitis tells us, that in the march of the Mohammedan 
pilgrims from EgypI, through this very desert, they trav- 
el \\\\h their camels lied four in a parcel, one after the 
other, like so many teams. ^ He says also, that usually 
three or four of the pilgrims diet together.f 

If we will allow that like circumstances naturally pro- 
duce like eflfects, it will appear highly probable, that the 
meaning of the word used in the passage of Exodus is, 
that Ihey went up out of Egypt with their cattle, in strings 
of Jive each; or that Moses ordered that five men with 
their families should form each a little company, that 
should keep together, and assist each other, in this diffi- 
cult march. In either of these senses we may understand 
the term, in all the other places in which it appears ;t 
whereas it is not natural to suppose they all went out of 
Egypt properly armed for war, and it is idle to say, as 
some have done, that they were girded about the loins, 
that is always supposed to be done by the Eastern people 
when they journey. Not to say that the kindred word 
continually signifies Jive, and this word should in course 
signify that they were, somehow or other, formed into 
fives, companies of five men each, or companies that had 
each Jive beasts, which carried their provisions and other 
necessaries fastened to each other. 



Though numerous caravans, or companies cf travel- 
lers, are common to the Eastern roads : there is some- 

* Page 14'J. t Page 153. 

J The other places are, Josh. i. It, ch. iv. 12, Judges vii, 11. The AIge« 
vines have 20 soldiers to a tent, hut we knOAv, from other passages, Moses 
divided them into tens, Exod, xviii. 21, 25 ; for ncishbourhood he migh^- 
divide them ioto fives* 


thing particular, in flie annual travelling of those great 
bodies of people that go in pilgrimage to Mecca, through 
the deserts ; upon which, as it may serve, in the most 
striking, and at the same time the most easy manner, to 
illustrate the travelling of Israel through some of those 
very deserts, 1 shall here make some remarks. 

"The first day we set out from Mecca," says Pitts, in 
his description of his return from thence, " it was without 
any order at all, all hurly burly : but the next day every 
one laboured to get forward ; and in order to it, there 
was many tiaies much quarrelling and fighting. But after 
every one had taken his place in the caravan, they order- 
ly and peaceably kept the same place till they came to 
Grand Cairo. They travel four camels in a breast, which 
are all tied one after the other, like as in teams. The 
whole body is called a caravan, which is divided into sev- 
eral cotters, or companies, each of which has its name» 
and consists, it may be, of several thousand camels; and 
they move, one cotter after another, like distinct troops. 
In the head of each cotter is some great gentlen^an, or of- 
ficer, who is carried in a thing like a horse litter, &c. 
In the head of every cotter there goes likewise a sump- 
iev camel, which carries his treasure, &c. This camel 
has two bells, about the bigness of our market bells, hang- 
ing one on each side, the sound of which may be heard a 
great way off. Some others of the camels have round 
bells about their necks, some about their legs, like those 
which our carriers put about their fore horses' necks ; 
which, together with the servants, who belong to the cam- 
els, and travel on foot, singing all night, make a pleasant 
noise, and the journey passes away delightfully. They 
say this music makes the camels brisk and lively. Thus 
they travel, in good order, every day, till they come to 
Grand Cairo; and were it not for this order, you may 
guess what confusion would be among such a vast multi- 

They have lights by night, which is the chief time of 
travellins;, because of the exceeding heat of the sun by 


day, which are carried on the (ops of high poles to direct 
the hagges or pilgrims in their march."^ 

I think we may from hence form some idea, of the of- 
fice and figure of those princes of the tribes whose obla- 
tions are mentioned in Numbers, chap. vii. They doubt- 
less appeared very much hke the princes of these Moham- 
medan cotters. 

The appointing those princes, and the prescribing the 
order of the encampments, must have been necessary, 
since there is so much confusion in these pilgrimages at 
first setting out, where the numbers of people are much 
smaller than those of Israel, as we may learn from what 
Maillet saysf of the caravan that went from Egypt to 
Mecca in the year 1697, which, according to him, wss 
more considerable than any that had gone from thence to 
that place for twenty years before, and which, neverthe- 
less, they did not pretend much exceeded one hundred 
thousand souls, and as many camels ; and this Maillet 
even supposes was too large a computation, and that half 
that number was a great deal nearer the truth. The Is- 
raelites who went out of Egypt were much more numer= 




The night was the chief time of travelling for this 
great multitude, through these deserts, when Pitts went 
to Mecca ; and the Eastern journies are oftentimes per- 
formed, on account of the heat, in the night, as I have ob- 
served before. 

* Maahaals are used in Syria, says Dr. Russell, MS. note. This is an 
odd sort of grate, fixed on a pole, in which is burnt a resinous wood that 
gives a fine blaze. Edit. 

f Sir J. Chardin has remarked, that this appears from Luke xi. 5, 7, 
where a friend on his journey is supposed to come at midnight ; and he 
says, this frequently happens there. 


Thevenot, however, travelled here in the day tirae^ 
passing through these deserts in January, and even found 
the mornings cold before the sun was up; and what is 
more extraordinary, it seems that Egmont and Heyman, 
who travelled to mount Sinai in the month of July, ^ trav- 
elled here a good deal in the day time, and found very re- 
freshing breezes. Moses, in like manner, supposes the 
cloud, which regulated their marches, was sometimes tak- 
en up by day, and sometimes by night, Numb. ix. 21, 
doubtless, according to the season, or the temperature of 
the air, which a merciful God regarded in giving that sig- 
nal ; and thus we find that EgmonI and Heyman's con^ 
ductors were so careful of their camels, and the heat of 
the sun was so excessive in the last day of their journey 
to Sinai, that when they were only an hour and a half 
from the convent, they would not move a step further, but 
waited till the declining of the sun made it more tolerable. f 
it appears however from hence, that had we an account 
of the time that Israel removed from stage to stage, as to 
its being by day or night, we could not from thence deter- 
mine, with certainty, the time of the year in which those re- 
movals were made, since they that were so careful of their 
camels travelled by day in July, in these deserts. 



There is something very amusing in Pitts's account of 
the singing in the night of the servants that attended those 
camels ; and this circumstance of those sacred journies 
may be explanatory of the singing of the Israelites, in 
their return to Jerusalem, which the Prophet speaks of, 

* Lett. dern. page 228. t Page 154- 


Is. li. 11, as well as lead us to imagine it was what was 
common in their going thither three times a year."^ 

But the sounding of the bells, which he tells us were 
fastened to some of the camels, does not seem to have 
any thing to do with Zech. xiv. 20. They are, according 
to our translation, bells of horses that the Prophet men-- 
tions;f but it is not the word that is used for the bells on 
one of the vestments of Aaron : nor do I remember io 
have met with any account of liorses decked after this 
manner in the East ; nor, if they were, does it easily ap- 
pear why these should be consecrated unto God: as then 
the word may be taken for some covering of the horses ; 
and they were the creatures that were in those times, as 
well as now, particularly used in war; and as they are 
camels, not horses, that are adorned with bells in travel- 
ling ;J these considerations may serve a little to estab- 

* Some have supposed those fifteen Psalms, which are each entitled, ** A 
song of Degrees," relate to the ascent of Israel out of the Babylonish captiv- 
ity ; may they not rather be thus marked, to denote they were wont to be 
sung in the journies of Israel up to Jerusalem from time to time? Ths 
Eastern people were wont to sing in their jourrsies ; these psalms suit such 
travellers; and the singular of that word translated i/e^rees signifies going 
up to Jerusalem, Ezra vii. 9. 

•}• Dion HwJfD metsilloth hassiis ; but the ordinary word for bell is |i31'3 

t Camels, mules, and horses are all occasionally decked with bells. A 
beautiful painting in a copy of the Ajaeeb Almakhloocat, i.e. the wonders 
of the creation, now lying before me, represents a earavan going through 
the valley of serpents in the island of Serindib (Ceylon ;) in which the cam- 
els, horses, &c. have bells not only about their necks, but on their legs also. 
This has also been particularly noticed by JM.njor Rooke, in his travels to the 
coast of Arabia Felix ; In page 83, he makes the following remarks on 
having been present at a field day, which the Turkish cavalry had at Mo' 
oha. *' The horses were sinnptiiously caporiso7ied, being adorned with 
gold and silver trappings, bells hung round their tiecks, and rich housings; 
the riders were in handsome Turkish dresses, w ilh white turbans, and the 
whole formed to me a new and pleasing spectacle." But from the accoui t 
in the Ajaeeb Almakhloocat it seems that these bells were used rather foe 
the expulsion of the serpents than for ornaments to their cattle. Howevir 
it sufficiently shows that bells on horses as well as on camels are in use in 
the East. Edit. 

VOL. ir. 27 


lish the explanation the learned Mr. Lowth has given u^ 
from the Chaldee, supposing the word our version trans- 
lates bells signifies warlike trappings of horses. These 
were to be holiness to the Lord : that is, perhaps, not on- 
ly laid up for a memorial before God, as he remarks : but 
never to be put to their former use more, which things 
that were laid up in the Temple sometimes were.^ 

However, Sir John Chardin, in his 31S. notes on this 
verse, has given a diflferent turn to these words, whichj 
whether perfectly just or not, is very amusing to the im- 
agination. After mentioning the Arabic translation, 
which signifies that that which should be upon the bridle 
of a horse should be holiness to the Lord, he informs us, 
that something like this is seen in several places of the 
East : in Persia, and in Turkey, the reins are of silk, of 
the thickness of a finger, on which are wrought the name 
of God, or other inscriptions.! 

The words of the Prophet naturally lead us to think of 
the mitre of the Jewish High Priest, on a plate of gold of 
which was engraven Holiness fo the Lord ; but whether 
Zechariah meant that marks of devotedness to the God 
of Israel should appear, in their travelling to Jerusalem to 
worship there, as strong as if the inscription on the fore- 
head of Aaron should be embroidered on the bridle of 

* See 1 Sam. xxi; 9. 

V The Arabic \Tord3 are qmj^} ^^^ CS^ '^'^ Ujanii'l faras, upon 
'Jie horse's brIdJe ; but it is common v.ith'iiie Mohammedans to put the 
name of Gox> upon almcct every thin.^ : 1 have seen it upon their bows, 
and 01 her raiiiiary weapons. H is well known to the learned, that to every 
literary work, whether on lav,-, physic, divinity, arts, sciences, or even 
books of amusement, such as tales, romances, &c. the following sentence 
Ts constantly prefixed : 

Bismi^llahi arrahmani arraheemi. 
lu the name of the most merciful and most compassionate God. 
So that no people in the world confoi-m more lilerally than the Moham- 
medans, to those words of an inspired writer, JVhcitsocver von do, do it in 
'hs name of the Lord. Edit. 


horses, and the highest reverence for him, aiitl care to 
avoid all pollution, should appear in all the habitationa in 
Jerusalem at that time; or whether ?dr. Ijowth's is ihe 
true interpretation, I will not take npon me to decide : I 
will onlj beg leave to observe, that Sir John's account re- 
moves all difficult J from uniting an inscription and bridle 
together, which is the marginal reading ; and that it seems 
better to agree with the subsequent thought, of every 
pot in Jerusalem and Judah being holiness to the Lord, 
which pots never had any concern with war, or were to 
be supposed to be in any danger of being applied to such 
a purpose afterward. 



Pitts goes on, in his account of his return from Mecca^ 
with describing those lights by which they travel in the 
night in the deserfj and which are carried on the tops of 
poles, to direct their march. " They are somewhat like 
iron stoves, into which they put short dry wood, which 
some of the camels are loaded with ; it is carried in great 
sacks, which have a hole near the bottom, where the ser- 
vants take it out, as they see the fires need a recruit. 
Every cotter has one of these poles belonging to it, some 
of which have ten, some twelve of these lights on their 
tops, or more or less ; and they are likewise of different 
figures, as well as numbers ; one perhaps oval way, like a 
gate, another triangular, or like N, or M, &c. so that every 
one knows by them his respective cotter. They are car- 
ried in the front, and set up in the place where the cara- 
van is to pitch, before that comes up, at some distance 
from one another. They are also carried by day, not 
lighted; but yety by the figure and number of them, the 
hagges (pilgrims) are directed to what cotter they belong, 
as soldiers are by their colours, where to rendezvous ; 


and without such directions it would be impossible to 
avoid confusion in such a vast number of people. 

"Every day, viz. in the morning, they pitch their tents, 
and rest several hours. AVhen the camels are unloaded, 
the owners drive them to water, and give them their 
provender, &.c. so that we had nothing to do wish thera, 
besides helping to load them. As soon as our tents 
were pitched, my business was to make a little fire, and 
get a pot of coffee. When we had eaten some small mat- 
ter, and drank the coffee, we lay down to sleep. Between 
eleven and twelve we boiled something for dinner, and 
having dined, lay down again til! about four in the after- 
noon, when the trumpet was sounded, which gave notice 
to every one to take down their tents, pack up their things, 
and load their camels, in order to proceed in their journey. 
It takes up about two hours' time ere they are ail in their 
places again." 

More than three thousand years have made no altera- 
tion in the signal used to give notice for decamping. The 
IMecca caravan now moves upon blowing a trumpet ; Mo- 
ses made use of the same signal, Nuriib, x.^ 

* Those Moses made use of •were of silver, but it seems some instru- 
ments of this kind were made of horns, Josh. vi. 8. It is corumonly sup- 
posed ram's horns were made use of, vhich Chardin in his MS- tells us are 
stranjjely long in the East, and that such are used by tlie dervishes. Ma- 
sius however doubts whether the horns of these animals w ere used by Josli- 
ua at Jericho, because those horns are solid. Sir John therefore proposed 
to see if Masius was not mistaken, and whether the horns used by the der- 
vishes were those of bufifaloes or rams, which last he believed thera to be. 
He docs not, Ijowever, give us any account in his notes of the result of that 
inquiry, which is a little unhappy. But 1 am assured the horns of English 
sheep are hollow, or rather, having what they call a slug, are easily made 


But v.hatever horns the dervislies carry with them, one use they put 
them to ought to be remarked, and that is, iheir blowing their horns not 
unfrequenlly when any thing is given them, in honor of the donor. This 
is mentioned in the MS. note on Matt. vi. 3. Another sense is in<leed put 
on the words, and is mentioned in that note ; but H is not impossible, that 
some of the poor Jews that begged alms might be furnished like the Per- 
sian dervishes, who are a sort of religious beggars, and that these hypo- 
crites might be disposed to confine their alms giving very much to such ;^s 
they knew would pay them this honor. Thus much is certain, that if the 


But what I would chiefly observe in this narration, is 
the account he gives of the things that were made use of, 
in these pilgrimages, for the like purposes that flags are 
used in our armies. They are little iron machines, in 
which fires may be made, in order to guide them in their 
night marches ; and they are so contrived, as suflSciently to 
distinguish their respective cotters or tribes. 

Things of this sort, I find, are used in other cases too : 
for Dr. Pococke tells us, that the caravan with which he 
visited the river Jordan, set out from thence in the even- 
ing, soon after it was dark, for Jerusalem ; being lighted 
by chips of deal full of turpentine, burning in a round 
iron frame, fixed to the end of a pole, and arrived at Je- 
rusalem a little before daybreak.^ But he tells us also, 
that a little before this the pilgrims were called before 
the governor of this cara\an, by means of a white stand- 
ard, that was displayed on an eminence near the camp, in 
order to enable him to ascertain his fees. 

In the Mecca caravans they use nothing by day, but 
the same moveable beacons, in which they burn those 
fires which distinguish each cotter in the night, for Pitts 
says nothing of nags, or any thing of that sort. 

As travelling then in the night must be, generally 
speaking, most desirable to a great multitude in that 
desert, we may believe a compassionate God, for the most 
part, directed Israel to move in the night, and in conse- 

modern Persian mode was in use in tlie time of our LoR-n, these Pliari- 
sees would have been very cold in giving ahus to thos3 tliat neglected it. 

Bells also are used to give warning to caravans to prepare for marching; 
hence that beautiful couplet in Hafiz, applied to the necessity of relinquish 
ijig sensual gratifications, and preparing ior death. 

f '^^ Li^ if^ ^^ ^ 6i^'^> ^^ ^^ ly^ 

*' For me, what room is there for pleasure in the bowers of beauty, 
When every moment the dell makes proclamation, thus, Bind on your 
burdens /" 

» Vol. ii. page 33. These are the Mashaals mentioned in a preceding 
note. Edit. 


queuce, must we not rather suppose the standards of the 
twelve tribes were moveable beacons, like those of the 
Mecca pilgrims, than flags, or any thing of that kind? 
Were not such sort of ensigns necessary for their night 
E3arches ? And since they who travel so much at their 
ease, and carry every convenience with them, think the 
same poles are sufficient for their purpose by day, with- 
out any flags, have we not reason to suppose Israel 
was not incumbered with flags in their march, but that 
their night ensigns did for them too when they travelled 
ia the daytime, which, we may believe, was more rarely ? 
The surprising likeness between the managements of 
the Mecca caravans, and that of Israel in the wilderness, 
in other points, strongly induces the belief of this. 

Yet they have not been children only that have amus- 
ed themselves with supposing, that a flag, on which was 
delineated the figure of a child, was the standard of Reu- 
ben ; and that others, that had the representations of a 
lion and an ox, were those of Judah and Ephraim, &Co 
Jewish rabbies of the West have proposed these conceits, 
and Christian doctors have been pleased with them, so 
they have been used sometimes by way of decoration in 
the frontispieces of our Bibles. Others have not admitted 
that images were used for this purpose, they have formed 
other suppositions;* but I do not know of any that 
Lave explained the standards of Israel after this manner? 
and supposed that they were differently figured portable 

This account may, at the same time, throw some light 
on two or three passages of the Canticles; which on the 
other hand, may serve to establish this explanation. 

My beloved is white and ruddy, ike chiefest among 
ten thousand, says the spouse. Cant. v. 10 ; or, a 
standard bearer among tea thousand, nnii'iD bui dagul 

* Bishop Patrick, on Numb. ii. C, supposes the name of Judah, of Reu- 
ben, and of each of the other Patriarchs, might be embroidered iu their 
enaijjns ; or that they nii^ht he distingfuishcd by their colours only. 


ii'ierebabah, according to the margin. All the ground of 
making these words synonymous is, I presume, the sup- 
posing a standard bearer the chiefest of the company^ 
which by no means appears to be true : it is not so among 
the modern people of the East, any more than among us. 
I will not, however, press this, since it seems to be merely 
a slip of the translators, and that what is meant, is, one 
before whom a standard is borne ; which is a mark of dig- 
nity in the East, as well as in the West, and which the 
word must signify, if any thing of this sort, dignity, be 
meant, since it is a passive, not an active participle in 
the Hebrew : that is, the word does not signify one 
that lifts up the banner, but one whom the lifting up the 
banner somehow respects, or concerns. It is not however 
so natural, upon the whole, to understand this passage of 
one before whom an ensign of dignity was borne, because I 
have shown that the original word is most probably to be 
understood of portable beacons, which are necessary to 
travellers in the nigh!, but not, that I know of, ever con- 
sidered as marks of dignity on the one hand j whilst, on 
the other, if it be understood of one of these Eastern flam- 
beaux, for in that view the participle pcthul of the verb 
will signify the enlightened, and consequently dazzling^ 
glistering, or something of that kind : and so the meanin"- 
of the spouse will appear to have probably been, that 
her bridegroom was dazzling beyond ten thousand, or was 
dazzling like a person surrounded by ten thousand lights. 
The making out of another expression, which occurs 
twice in the same book, has also appeared somewhat diffi- 
cult, but may be illustrated perhaps by the same thought. 
Terrible as an army with banners ny^i'MD hd^n* ayummah 
kenidaggaloth, is the expression, which wc meet wilh in 
the 4th, and again in the 10th verse of the 5th chapter 
of Canticles, where it is to be remarked that the word 
army is not in the original | and as it is supposed by 
Biixtortf, in his Concordance, to be the feminine plural of 
the passive participle, and ccnsequently may be under- 


stood lo signify women embanneredy if that expression were; 
allowable, women shown upon by lights, that is, accord- 
ing to the preceding explanation ; the meaning may with 
ease be understood to be, " My spouse is dazzling as wo- 
men dressed in rich attire, surrounded by nuptial flam- 
beaux, with which they are lighted home." In this view, 
those words that follow this expression when first used. 
Turn away thine eyes from me, for they have overcome 
me, appear perfectly natural : as do also those that pre- 
cede the second, Who is she that looketh forth as the 
7norning,fair as the moon, clear as the sun ? 

It may not be unfit to add, that those places that speak 
of the standards of the tribes, and these that I have en- 
deavoured to illustrate in the Book of Canticles, are all the 
passages in which this Hebrew word occurs, excepting 
Ps. XX. 5, and Cant. ii. 4. The first wants no illustra- 
tion ; and the applying this thought to the second, may, 
perhaps, give the easiest interpretation that can be found 
of that passage. Love, was the flambeaux by which the 
bridegroom conducted her to the house of wine : so love is 
compared to flaming wood, in this very book, ch. viii. 6, T. 

The word beacon occurs indeed in another place, ^ in 
our version ; but it is not there b:i daggal,m the original, 
which I am supposing signifies a portable beacon, but pn 
toreUy which may possibly incline my reader not to admit 
that sense I have been affixing to these passages, as un- 
willing to suppose there are two words in so scanty a lan- 
guage signifying beacon : it ought however to be remem- 
bered, that though our version renders it beacon, it signi^ 
fies properly no more than a sign, whatever that sign might 
be, whether Ihe sticking up a spear, displaying a flag, 
making a smoke, or any thing else ; and it is somewhat 
strange that our translators should use so particular a 
term as beacon, to express a word of such a general mean- 

* Is, XXX. 17. , t See Numb. xxvi. 10. 




When Moses begged of Hobab not to leave Israel, be- 
cause they were to encamp in the wilderness, and he might 
be to them instead of eyes, Numb. x. 31, he doubtless 
meant that he might be a guide to them in the difficult 
journies they had to take in the wilderness : for so Job, 
when he would express his readiness to bring forward on 
their journey those that were enfeebled with sickness, or 
hurt by accidents, and to guide them in their way that 
were blind or ignorant of it, says, / was eyes to the blinds 
and feet was I to the lame, Job xxix. 15. 

Every body, accordingly, at all acquainted with the na- 
ture of such deserts as Israel had to pass through, must be 
sensible of the great importance of having some of the na- 
tives of that country for guides: they know where wa- 
ter is to be found, and can lead to places proper, on that 
account, for encampments. Without their help, travelling 
would be much more difficult in these deserts, and indeed 
often fatal. The importance of having these Arab guides 
appears, from such a number of passages in books of trav- 
els, that every one whose reading has at all turned thi^; 
way, must be apprized of them ; for which reason I shaU 
cite none in particular. The application then of Moses 
to Hobab the 3Iidianiie, that is, to a principal Arab of 
the tribe of Midian, would have appeared perfectly just, 
had it not been for this thought, that the cloud of the 
Divine Presence went before Israel, and directed theif 
inarches ; of what consequence then could Ilobab's jour- 
neying with them be ? 

A man would take more upon himself than he ought to 
do, that should affirm the attendance of sucli an one as 
Hobab was of no use to Israel, in tlieir removing from 
station to station : it is very possible, the guidance of the 

voi». 11. '28 

2f 8 «1' THEIR MANNER 01 I RAVELLir^ G, 

cloud might not be so minute as absolutely to render Lis 
offices of no value. But J will mention another thing, 
that will put the propriety of this request of ]\Ioses quite 
Out of dispute. The saered history expressly mentions 
several journies undertaken by parties of the Israelites, 
while the main body laid still : so in Numb, xiil. we read 
of a party that was sent out to reconnoitre the land of 
Canaan ; in ch. xx. of the messengers sent from Kadesh 
unto the king of Edom ; in ch, xxxi. of an expedition 
against the idolatrous Midianites ; of some little expedi- 
tions, in the close of ch. xxx. and more journies of the 
like kind, were without doubt undertaken, which are not 
particularly recounted. Now Moses, foreseeing some- 
thing of this, might v,ell beg the company of Hobab, not 
as a single Arab, but as a prince of one of their clans, that 
he might be able to apply to him from time to time, for 
some of his people, to be conductors to those he should 
have occasion to send out to different places, while the 
body of the people, and the cloud of the Lord, continued 

Nor was their assistance only wanted in respect to wa- 
ter, when any party of them was sent out upon some ex- 
pedition ; but the whole congregation must have had fre- 
quent need of them, for directions where to find fueL 
Manna continually, and sometimes w^ater, were given them 
miraculously ^ their clothes also were exempted from de- 
cay while in the wilderness; bat fuel was wanted to warm 
them some part of the year, at all times to bake and 
seethe the manna, according to Exod. xvi. 23, and was 
never obtained but in a natural way, that we know of : 
for this then they wanted the assistance of such Arabs as 
were perfectly acquainted with that desert. So Thevenot..* 
tiescribing his travelling in this very desert, says, on the 
night of the 25(h of January they rested in a place Vvhere 
was some broom, '^ for that their guides never brought them 
to rest any where, willingly we are to suppose, but ii^ 

* Part i, p9ge 163. 


places where ihey could find some fuel, not only (o warm 
them, but lo prepare their coffee and mafrouca. He 
complains also of their resting place on the night of the 
28th of January, on account of their not being able toiind 
any wood there, not so much as to boil coffee.^ A like 
complaint he makes o^ the night between the eighth atid 
ninth of February, when not being able to get into Suez, 
he was obliged to lie without the gates till it was day, suf- 
fering a greut deal of cold, because they had no wood to 
make a lire. f 

Moses hoped Hobab would be instead of eyes to the 
Israelites, both with respect to the guiding their parties 
to wells and springs in the desert, and the giving the peo- 
ple in general notice where they might find fuel : for 
though they frequently make use in this desert of camels' 
dung for fuel,J this could not, we imagine, wholly supply 
their wants ; and in fact, we find the Israelites sought 
about for other firing. |j 



The situation of Babylon, on the river Euphrates, 
must have made causeways necessary to those that had 

* Page 165. ■\ Fn^e 172. :}: See Shaw's Pref. page 12. 

II Numb. XV. 32, 33. There is one circumstance attending these deserts, 
■which Sir J. Chardin has mentioned in one of his MSS. so curious, that I 
cannot but set it down licre, though I do not know that it illustrates anx- 
passage of Scripture, and though, 1 think, I have seen it in other Avrlters, 
■who, however, have not been explicit and large in their accounts. *' Tliere 
is a splendor, or vapour, in the plains of the desert," he savs, "formed by 
the repercussion of the rays of the sun from the sand, tliat appears like a 
vast lake. Travellers of the desert, afflicted with thirst, are drawn on by 
such appearances; but coming near, find themselves mistaken : it seems to 
draw back as they advance, or quite vanishes. I have seen this in several 
places. Q. Cui-tius takes notice of it, in speaking of Alexander the Great 
in Susiana." Odd phenomenon this! May we suppose it is referred to b}' 
the Prophet, Jer. xv. 18 ? 

See something like this, 2 Kings iii. 23. Dr. Russell in a JNIS. note, men- 
lions the same cireurastance. Edit. 


occasion (o go (hilher or come from thence, as marks sel 
up must have been \evy requisite to those that had to 
pass through the deserts, that lay between Chaldea and 
Palestine: to both which conveniencies Isaiah seems to 
lefer, as well as to some other circumstances attending 
Eastern travelling, in that passage in which he propheti- 
cally describes the return of Israel from Babylon. 

The passage I mean is in the close of the 62d chapter: 
Go through^ go through the gates ; prepare ye tlie way 
of the people^ cast iip, cast up the highway ; gather out 
the stones ; lift up a standard for tfie people. Behold 
, the Lord hath proclaimed unto the end of the worlds Say 
ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh. 
Irwin, speaking of his passing through the deserts on 
ihe Eastern side of the Nile, in his going from Upper 
Egypt to Cairo, tells us,*^ *'that after leaving a certain 
valley which he mentions, their road lay over level ssiround. 
As it would be next to an impossibility to find the way 
over these stony flats, where the heavy foot of a came! 
leaves no impression, the difierent bands of robbers, wild 
Arabs he means, who frequent that desert, have heaped 
up stones at unequal distances, for their direction through 
this desert. Wc have derived great assistance from the 
robbers in this respect, who are our guides when the 
marks either fail, or are unintelligible to us " After 
•ivhich he remarks, that if it be considered, that this road 
to Cairo is seldom trodden, it is no wonder that those 
persons they had with themj as conductors, were frequent- 
ly at a loss to determine their way through this desert. 

The learned know very well, that there were many 
great deserts in various parts of the East, and in particu- 
lar a great desert between Babylon and Judea; and as 
Judea was, in the time of the captivity, an abandoned 
country, at least as to a great part of it, and ihe road 
through that desert might have been much neglected, is 
it not reasonable to suppose, that the piling up heaps of 

* Patrc 316. 


fetones might actually be of considerable iniporlance, to 
facililate the return of Israel into Iheir own country ? And 
if not, is it not natural to suppose the difficulties in the 
way of their return might be represented by want of such 
works? And consequently that that clause should be 
rendered, not gather out the stones, but throw ye up heaps 
of stones, that you may be directed in your march through 
the most difficult and dangerous places where you are to 

It is certain the word npD sakkeloo, that is used here isj 
confessedly, in e\ery other place but one, Is. v. 2, used 
to signify the throwing stones at a person, after which 
they were wont to cover them with a heap of them, as a 
memorial of what was done, see particularly the account 
of the punishment of Achan, Josh. vii. 23, 26 ; now it 
must appear somewhat strange, that the same word should 
signify gathering stones up in order to take them away, 
and also on the contrary, to cover over a person or a spot 
with them, thrown up on a heap. And especially when 
the stoning the ways, that is, pouring down heaps of stone? 
at proper distances, to direct travellers in danger of mis- 
taking their way, is so natural a thought in this passage; 
while we find fev/ or no traces of the gathering stones out 
of an Eastern road, to make journeying more pleasant to 
the traveller. 

The other passage, in the 51h of Isaiah, may be under- 
stood in something of the same manner, even if we take 
the first word to signify fencing, as our translators do, 
which, nevertheless, is very uncertain : He fenced it, hie 
vineyard ; ibpD'1 vayesakkclo, and stoned it, that is, piled 
stones, inform of a wall, instead of sundried bricks, which 
soon moulder away, and planted it with the choicest vine. 

The Septuagint however, I must acknowledge, trans- 
late neither of these passa2;es in the manner that seems 
most natural to me, though their translation was made in 
Egypt, in the wild part of which country, toward the Red 
vSea, these heaps of stone are now found. But it is to he 


remembered, that they lived under a more settled form pf 
government, which made travelling through ihat part of 
ihe desert where these stones are now found unnecessary. 
Their way of travelling in Egypt being almost entirely 
upon the Nile, and its numerous canals, or where the 
country was filled with people; this circumstance then 
might not occur to these translators, especially as there is 
no occasion to this day, of such assistance in the desert 
between Egypt and the Jewish country, through which 
these translators might only have had occasion to pass. 

The same writer has taken notice, in his travels, of the 
banks thrown up in Egypt, on v,'hich the overflowing of 
the Nile obliges them to pass ; which must in like manner 
have been necessary in the marshes about Babylon, to 
the fenny nature of which country the Psalmist refers, 
when he says, By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat 
dovt-n. We hanged our harps upon ihe willows^ in the 
midst thereof, Ps. CKXXvii. 1, 2. To these Isaiah ap^ 
pears to refer, in these words. Cast up^ cast up the high- 
)vay ; or, as the Bishop of London translates it, " Cast ye 
up the causeway." 

Irwin also takes notice of its having been customary to 
light up fires on the mountains, within view of Cosire, a 
town on the Red Sea, in which he then was, to give no- 
tice of the approach of the caravans that came from the 
Nile to Cosire, though that custom was suspended, when 
he was there, on the account of the wild Arabs, who had 
been for some time roving about in that neighbourhood, 
and who, it was feared, would have made a bad use of 
such signals.^ These notices are of use on various ac- 
counts, and particularly to meet caravans with assistance. 

It is to some similar management, I presume, Isaiah re- 
fers in this place, where he speaks of the lifting up a 
standard, or as the original word is of a much more gen- 
eral signification, and is used for any sign,f LAfi up a sign 

* Page 139. 
t See Num. xwi. 10 ; and perhaps it directly signifies fire, and a sign. 
Is. 5cxxi. 0. 


above the nations^ upon the tops of their hills, announc- 
ing the approach of the captivity of Israel, returning to 
their own country, that they may meet them with refresh^ 
ments,'^'^ and such assistances as may help them forward 
in their way to the land of their forefathers. 

How lively the comparing the benefits derived from (he 
edict of Cyrus, giving liberty and encouragement to Is- 
rael to return to the land of their ancestors, to the mak- 
ing causeways through marshy countries, piling up heaps 
of stone in unfrequented deserts, and meeting travellers 
with refreshments, and every other assistance that they 
might want. 

The first clause, Go through, go through the gates, 
seems to refer to the custom of the East for travellers to 
assemble together, in some place out of the city, in order 
to get ready for journeying together in company, which I 
have elsewhere taken notice of, and therefore need not to 
repeat it here. 

^ Deut. XX. 3, 4, 





Presenting gifts is one of (he most universal customs 
among the Asiatics; and (he use of (hem was, as well as 
now is, much more extensive in the East (han with us. 

Such as are prejudiced against the Sacred History, and 
unacquainted with Eastern customs, may be ready, from 
the donations to the Prophets, to imagine they were a 
mercenary set of people, and rudely to rank them with 
cunning men and fortune tellers, who will not from prin- 
ciples of benevolence reveal those secrets, or fortel those 
future events, of the knowledge of which they are suppos- 
ed to be possessed ; but demand of the anxious inquirer 
a large reward. This however will make impressions on 
none but those who know not the oriental usages, which 
Maundrell long since applied, with such clearness and 
force, to one of the most exceptionable passages of the 
Old Testament, that he has sufficiently satisfied the mind 
upon this point. As he has expressly applied it to a pas- 
sage of Scripture, it would not have been agreeable to my 
design to have mentioned this circumstance, had I not 
had some additional remarks to make upon this head, 
which possibly may not be ungrateful to the curious read- 
er, and which therefore I shall here set down. I suppose 
my reader acquainted with Maundrell; but it will be 
proper, for the sake of perspicuity, first to recite at full 
length that passage in him I refer to. 


" Tbiirsdaj, March 11. This day we all dined at Con- 
sul Hastings's house ; and after dinner went to wait upon 
Ostan, the bassa of Tripoli, having first sent our present, 
as the manner is among the Turks, to procure a propi- 
tious reception. 

*' It is counted uncivil to visit in this country without an 
offering in hand. All great men expect it as a kind of 
tribute due to their character and authority ; and look 
upon themselves as affronted, and indeed defrauded, 
when this compliment is omittedo Even in familiar visits, 
amongst inferior people, you shall seldom have them 
come without bringing a flower, or an orange, or some 
other such token of their respect to the person visited i 
the Turks in this point keeping up the ancient Oriental 
customs hinted 1 Sam. ix. 7. If we go, says Saul, what 
shall we bring the man o/God ? there is not a present. 
Sec, which words are questionless to be understood in 
conformity to this Eastern custom, as relating to a token 
of respect, and not a price of divination. "^'^' 

Maundrell does not tell us what the present was which, 
they made Ostan. It will be more entirely satisfying to 
the mind to observe, that in the East they not only uni- 
Yersally send before them a present, or carry one with 
them, especially when they visit superiors, either civil or 
ecclesiastical ; but that this present is frequently a piece 
of money, and that of no very great value. So Dr. Po- 
cocke tells us, that he presented an Arab sheik of an il- 
lustrious descent, on whom he waited, and who attended 
him to the ancient Hierapolis, with a piece of money^ 
which he was told he expected ^f and that in Egypt aa 
Aga being dissatisfied with the present be made him, he 
sent for the Doctor's servant, and told him, that he ought 
to have given him a piece of cloth, and, if he had none, 
two sequins, worth about a guinea, must be brought to 
bim, otherwise he should see him no more, with which de- 
mand he complied. f In one case a piece of money was 

• Page 26, 27. t Vol. ii. page IGf. i Vol. i. page 119. 

VOL. n. 29 

22(3 or iiOXOKIKG SUPERIOllS, 

expected, in the otliei* two sequins demanded. A trifHng 
present of money to a person of distinction amongst us 
would be an aiTront ; it is not so however, it seems, in the 
East. Agreeably to these accounts of Pocockc, we are 
lold in the travels of Egmont and Heyman, that the well 
of Joseph in the castle of Cairo is not to be seen without 
leave from the commandant ; which having obtained, they, 
in return, presented him with a sequin.* These instances 
are curious exemplifications of Mr. Maundrell's account 
of the nature of some of the Eastern presents, and ought 
by no means to be omitted in collections of the tind I am 
now making. 

How much happier was the cultivation of Mr. Maun- 
drell's genius than of St. Jerom's ! Though this father 
lived so many years in the East, and might have advan- 
tageously applied the remains of their ancient customs to 
the elucidation of Scripture, to which, if he was a stran- 
ger, he must have been an egregiously negligent observ- 
er ; yet we find him, in his comment on Micah iii. 11, 
roundly declaring, that by a Prophet's receiving money? 
his prophesying became divination. And when he after- 
ward mentions this case of Saul's application to Samuel, 
as what he foresaw might be objected to him, he endeav- 
ours to avoid the difficulty, by saying, We do not find 
that Samuel accepted if, or that they even ventured to 
offer it ; or if it must be supposed that he received it, 
that it uas rather to be considered as money presented to 
the tabernacle, than the rewards of prophesying.f How 
embarrassed was the Saint by a circumstance capable of 
the most clear explanation! Fond of allegorizing, he 
neglected the surest methods of interpretation, for which 

* Vol. ii. page 76. 

f Prophetic Ilierusalem in pecurua (Iniuubatit, nescientcs aliud esse 
prophetiara, aliud (livinationem: Videbantur sibi quidem esse Prophetise : 
sed quia pecuuiain accipic^bant, prophetia ipsoi'um facta est divinalio. Nee 
queiiquam moveat illud quod in primo Regiim libro legimus : Saul volen- 
tern ire tid Sarauelem dixisse puero sxio, he. r.on enim scriplum est, 
quod Sanuiel acceperit : aut quod illi obtulcriiit. Scd fac eum acccpissc, 
stipes magis cestimandje sunt tabernacuH, quam rauncra prophetis. 


he had peculiar advantages : how different are the rewards 
of divination, which were to be earned, from the nnccn. 
ditional presents that were made to persons of figure upon 
being introduced into their presence ! 

Before I quit this Observation, I cannot forbear remark- 
ing, that there are other things presented in the East, be- 
sides money, which appear to us extremely low and mean, 
unworthy the quality of those that offer them, or of those 
to whom they are presented; and consequently that we 
must be extremely unqualified to judge of these oriental 
compliments. In what light might an European Vv'it place 
the present of a Governor of an Egyptian village, who 
sent to a British Consul fifty eggs as a mark of respect, =^^ 
and that in a country where they are so cheap as to be 
sold at the rate often for a penny ?| 



What the presents were that were made to the ancient 
Prophets, we are not always told; bu^t all the particulars 
cfthatmadeby Jeroboam's queen to the Prophet Ahi- 
jah are given u?, 1 Kings xiv. 3. I very much question, 
however, whether that was any part of the disguise sho 
assumed, as an eminent prelate supposes,J who imagines 
she presented him with such things as might make the 
Prophet think her to be a couniry woman, rather than a 

It undoubtedly was not a present that proclaiaied roy- 
alty, that would have been contrary to Jeroboam's inten- 
tion that she should be concealed ; but it does not appear 
to have been, in the estimation of the East, a present on^ 
ly fit for a country woman to have made: for d'Arvieux 

* Pococke's Trav, vol. i. page 17. 

t Seven or eight for a medine, or three l\u'things. rococke, volame i,, 

p?ge 260. 

I See Patrick on I Kings xiv. o. 


tells us, that uhen he wailed on an Arab emir, his mother 
and sister, to gratify whose curiosity that vjsrt was made, 
sent him, early in the morning, after his arrival in their 
camp, a present of pastry, honey, fresh butter, with a ba- 
sin of sweet meats of Damascus:^ now this present dif- 
fers but little from that of Jeroboam's wife, who carried 
loaves, cracknells, or rather cakes enriched with seeds, 
and a cruise of honey, and was made by princesses that 
avowed their quality. The present then of Jeroboam's 
wife did not discover her quality, but it was not so mean 
a present as the Bishop seems to suppose. 

Sir John Chardin tells us, somewhere in his travels, of 
an officer whose business it was to register the presents 
that were made to his master, or mistress; and 1 have 
since found the same practice obtains at the Ottoman 
court; forEgmont and Heyman, speakingf of the presents 
made there on the account of the circumcision of the 
Grand Seignior's children, tell us that all these donations, 
with the time when, and on what occasion given, were care- 
fully registered in a book for that purpose. If a collec- 
tion of papers of this sort, belonging to the bashaw of Ga- 
za, the mosolem of Jerusalem, or the Arab emirs of the 
Holy Land, were put into our hands ; or if our country- 
men, that reside in the Levant, were to furnish us with 
minute accounts of the presents made there which come 
to their knowledge, it would be not only an amusing curi- 
osity, but would enable us, I make no question, to pro- 
duce instances of modern gifts parallel to those that are 
mentioned in the Scripture history, in almost all cases, 
and if not absolutely in all, I dare say similar to those 
that appear most odd to us, at the same time, that it 
would enable us to enter into the rationale of them much 
better than we do now. 

Thus the making presents of eatables, not only to those 
that were upon a journey, which, in a country where they 
carried their own provisions with them, was perfectly 

'* Voy. daus la Pal. par la Roquc, page 50. | Vol. i. page 21-5;- 


natural ; but to those whom they visited in their own 
houses, as the wife of Jeroboam did to Ahijah, and some 
of them persons of great distinction, as Saul would have 
done to Samuel, the judge of Israel as well as a Prophet, 
had not all his provisions been expended, in a journey 
which proved more tedious than he expected, appears to 
have been a custom perfectly conformable to what is at 
present practised in the East, and had a ground for it in 
nature, which modern travellers have explained to us. 

" This custom," of making presents, says Maillet,^ "is 
principally observed in the frequent visits which they 
make one another through the course of the year, which 
are always preceded by presents of fowls, sheep, rice, 
coffee, and other provisions of difterent kinds. These vis- 
its, which relations and friends make regularly to each 
other, were in use among the ancient Egyptians ; and 
though they are often made without going out of the same 
eity, yet they never fail of lasting three or four days, and 
sometimes eight. They carry all their family with them, 
if they have any; and the custom is, as I have just ob- 
served, to send presents beforehand, proportionate to 
their rank, and the number of their attendants," 

When they consulted a Prophet then, the Eastern 
modes required a present ; and they might think it was 
right rather to present him with eatables than other things, 
because it frequently happened that they were detained 
there some time, waiting the answer of God, during which 
time hospitality would require the Prophet to ask them 
to take some repast with him. And as the Prophet would 
naturally treat them with some regard to their quality, 
they doubtless did then, as the Egyptians do now, pro- 
portion their presents to their avowed rank and number 
of attendants. The present of Jeroboam's wife was that 
of a woman in affluent circumstances, though it by no 
means determined her to be a princess. That made to 
the Prophet Samuel, was the present of a person that ex° 

•^ Lett. 11, page 137. 


peeled fo be treated like a man in low life; how great 
then must be his surprise, first to be treated with distin- 
guished honor in a large corapanj, and then to be anoint- 
ed king over Israel ! 

But though this seems to have been the original ground, 
of presenting common eatables to persons who were vis- 
ited at their own houses, I would by no means be under- 
stood to affirm they have always kept to this, and pre- 
sented eatables when they expected to stay with them 
and take some repast, and other things when they did not. 
Accuracy is not to be expected in such matters: the ob- 
servation however naturally accounts far the rise of this 
sort of presents. 

In other cases, the presents that anciently were, and 
of late have been wont to be made to personages eminent 
for study and piety, were large sums of money,^ or vest- 
ments: so the present that a Syrian nobleman would 
have made to an Israelitish Prophet, with whom he did 
not expect to stay any time, or indeed to enter in his 
house, Behold, I thoitgld he will certainly come out io 
mCf and stand, and call on the name of the Lord his 
God, and strike his Jiand over the place, and recover the 
leperyj- consisted of ten talents of silver, and six thou- 
sand pieces of gold, and ten changes of raiment. It is 
needless to mention the pecuniary gratifications that have 
been given to men of learning in the East in later times ; 
but as to vestments, d'HerbelotJ tells us, that Bokhterl, 
an illustrious poet of Cufah in the ninth century, 
had so many presents made him in the course of his 
life, that at his death he was found possessed of an 
hundred complete suits of clothes, two hundred shirts, 

* Sums of money are presented also to others, by princes and great per- 
bonages. So Sir Jolin Chardin observes, in his MS. on occasion of Joseph's 
being said to have given Benjamin three hundred pieces of silver, Gen. 
xlv. 22, that the kings of Asia almost always make presents of this kind to 
ambassadors, and to other strangers of consideration who have brought 
them t)resents. So the calif Mahadi, according to d'Herbelot, gave an 
Arab that had entertained hijn in the deserf, a vest, and a purse of silver, 
v 2 Kings V. 11. :^ Page 208, 200. 


and five hundred luibans. An indisputable proof of the 
frequency with which presents of this kind are made in 
the Levant to men of study: and at the same time a fine 
illustration of Job's description of the treasures of the 
East in his days, consisting of raiment as well as silver, 
Job xxvii. 16, U.^' 



Thef not only make presents of provision?^, but of 
other things which they imagine may be acceptable, and 
in particular of conveniencies for the making their eating 
and drinking more agreeable. 

So when Dr. Perry travelled in Egypt, and visited the 
temple at Luxor, he says, " We were entertained by the 
cashif here with great marks of civility and favour; he 
sent us, in return of our presents, several sheep, a good 
quantity of eggs, bardacks," &c.t These bardacks he 
had described a little before,:]: in speaking of a town called 
Keene : *' Its chief manufactory," he there tells us, "is 
in bardacks, to cool and refresh their water in, hy means 

* So Sir J. CharJin tells us in Lis rote here, " tliat it is eustomapy 
through all the East to gather together an immense coUecticn of fiu-niture 
and clothes, for their fashions never alter. They heap Ihem up in -ward- 
robes, as they heap up mud for mortar in bullt'ing. • Tliis is the ground of 
this metaphor." 

I have some doubt however, I must confess, of the justness of this ac 
count of the ground of this image. If it means any thing more than what 
is mentioned Zeeh. ix. 3, -which I much question, I sliould say that possi- 
bly, as the word translated di:st signifies plasierm^; and that rendered 
chit/, mortar, the heaping up silver like plastering may point out the 
piling up silver, against the walls of their apartments, as if they had been 
plastered with silver ; and the preparing raiment as mortar, may possibly 
refer to the walls covered with bitumen, or mortar of a dark colour, vest- 
ments being heaped up from the bottom to the top of tliese repositories of 
theirs. But the m.ore simple interpretation, I first pointed out, seems 
much preff rable. Harm. 

Indeed any interpretation is preferable to this farfetched one. Edit. 

t Page 356, 357, ^ Page 339, 310. 


of which it drinks very cool and pleasant in the hotteai 
seasons of the year. Thev make an inconceivable quan- 
tity of these, which they distribnte to Cairo, and all other 
parts of Egypt. They send them down in great floats, 
consisting of many thousands, lashed together in such a 
manner as to bear the weight of several people upon them. 
We purchased a good many of them for the fancy, at so in- 
considerable a price as twenty pence an hundred ; and 
are really surprised how they comM make them for it." 

Here we see earthen vessels presented to the Doctor? 
and those of a very cheap kind, along with provisions, 
and this apparently because they are of great use in that 
country for cooling their water. Perhaps we shall be 
less surprised after reading this, at the basins and earthen 
vessels presented to David at Mahanaim, by some of the 
great men of that part of the country, along with sheep^ 
flour, honey, &c. 2 Sam. xvii. 28, 29. 



But though nothing is more customary in the Levant 
than the giving and receiving of presents, and persons of 
the most exalted characters for dignity, virtue, or piety, 
make in common no difficulty of receiving them, there are 
some instances however of those that have refused them. 

So Mons. Maillet tells us, that at the circumcision of 
their children they are commonly wont to receive pres- 
ents ;^ nevertheless, he tells us, that Ishmael, who was 
bashaw of Egypt while he resided there, and whose only 
son was circumcised whilst he was in that high office, re- 
fused to accept any presents on that occasion, though ev- 
ery one, accor ling to his respective rank and quality, was 
iprepared to make him a present, according to the Turkish 
custom, and though Ishmael's expenses v/ere extremely 
great, the French consul's excepted, which he had the 
politeness to receive, telling the interpreters that he had 
* Letter 11, page 136. 


determined not to accept of any presents, but that he 
could not refuse this mark of friendship from the consul 
of France, for whom his was the most sincere. "^^ 

This was very extraordinary, Maillet says ; indeed the 
most extraordinary thing in that solemnily, which he rep- 
resents as one of the mos( pompous spectacles in the world. 
What the occasion of Ishmael's departure from es- 
tablished usages was, we are not told : he had doubtless 
his reasons, Elisha also had his for not receiving the 
present brought him by Naaman, 2 Kings v, 16 ; who yet 
accepted that brought by Hazael, ch. viii. 9. What those 
reasons were, we are not informed ; but I dare say that 
assigned by Bishop Patrick, or rather Abarbanel, was not 
among them ; that the one presented him with silver, and 
gold, and raiment, and such like things of value, whereas 
the other made him a present of food, bread and wine, 
fruit and fowl, which was a fit present for the Prophet, 
who might be presumed to be weary with his journey. 
According to Oriental notions, there was no greater im- 
propriety in accepting a present of silver and gold, than 
of provisions ; it is sufficient to observe, that on some oc- 
casions they think proper to decline presents, without 
having any objection to the nature of them. Secular men, 
in some cases, have refused them as well as the old Proph- 
ets, but in common they are presented to all people of 



When" d'Arvleux attended that Arab emir, whom I 
mentioned before, a vessel happened to be shipwrecked 
on that coast. The emir perceived it from the top of the 
mountains, and immediately repaired to the shore to profit 
by the misfortune. Staying some time, it grew so late 

* Letter U, page 79. 
VOJL. H. 30 


that he defermlned to spend the night there, under his 
tenls, ai'.d ordered supper to be got ready. "Nothing/' 
says d'Arvieux, " was more easy ; for every body at Tar- 
toiira, in the neighbourhood of which town the emir then 
was, vied with each olher as to the presents they brought 
of meat, fowl, game, fruit, coffee, &c. Were they not 
presents of this kind that the children of Belial neglected 
to bring ? 1 Sam. x. 27. 

A band of men, we are told, whose hearts God had 
touched, went with Saul, when he returned home from 
Gibeah : what for ? Doubtless to attend him in ex- 
peditions against the enemies of their country : in those 
expeditions, the places through or near which he passed, 
seem to have furnished him and his men with provisions, 
as the Arabs of Tartoura did this emir ; but some sons of 
Belial, some perverse towns, or some unhappily disposed 
particular persons of wealth and figure, refused to pay him 
this compliment, despising these efforts of his against the 
enemies of their country, till the affair with the Am- 
monites perfectly settled his authority. Whether the 
refractoriness of these people was the cause or not, I am 
not able to say, but it seema sufficiently plain that he had 
dismissed this band of men, before that exploit of his 
against the Ammonites, and for some time before had led 
a less public and martial life, 1 Sam. xi. 5, 

In like manner Gideon, one of the judges of Israel, ex- 
pected this sort of compliment, and met with the like in- 
sult, which he severely punished, Judg. viii. 5, 8, 16, 17, 

We are told indeed by some commentators, and the 
learned Drusius is of that number, according to Pool,"^ 
that it was the custom to make presents to a king when 
he was inaugurated ; but I do not know on what authotjty. 
The remark of Vatablus however, in the same collection, 
is, without doubt, very inaccurate, who, upon the Chal- 
dee paraphrast's giving this sense of this clause, fAeycawc 
uot to salute him, says, this ought to be understood of 

* Vide Poll Syu. in loo. 


the first salulalion, which was not to be iinatlended with 
presents. Things must have been very different in the 
East anciently, from what they are now, if every \\s\t 
did not require an acknowledgment of this kind. 

As to the ground of the complaint then that they 
brought him no present, I submit it to the reader to deter, 
mine which is the most natural supposition, whether that 
of those who imagine, the complaint relates to some per 
sons omitting to make him a visit of congratulation, as the 
Chaldee paraphrast seems to think; or of those who ap- 
prehend, it refers to the neglect of accommodating him, in 
his marches from place to place, with provisions for him- 
self and attendants. 

Barzillai's and other people's supplying David at Ma- 
hanaim with honey, butter, sheep, wheat, &c. en these 
grounds, appears to have been not a mere act of benevo- 
lence and pity, but the paying him the wonted respect 
with which their princes were treated; and consequently 
acknowledging him, in the best manner, their sovereign, 
while the greatest part of the Israelites were in rebellion 
against him. 





There is often in these countries a great deal of pomp 
and parade in presenting their gifts ; and that not only when 
they are presented to princes or governors of provinces, 
but where they are of a more private nature. 

Thus Dr. Russell tells us,=^ that the money which the 
bridegrooms of Aleppo pay for their brides, is laid out 
in furniture for a chamber, in clothes, jewels, or orna- 
ments of gold, for the bride, whose father makes some ad- 
ditioHy according to his circumstances ; which things are 

* Vol. i. page 284, 285. 


sent with great pomp to the bridegroom's house three 
days before the wedding. The like management obtains 
in Egypt, and is in a very lively manner described by 
Maillef, in his account of that country,-^ where too these 
gifts are carried with great pomp to the bridegroom's 
house, but on the marriage day itself, and immediately 
before (he bride : carpets, cushions, mattresses, coverlets, 
pignatesjf dishes, basins, jewels, trinkets of gold, pearls, 
girdles, plate, every thing down to the wooden sandalis 
wrought with mother of pearl, which they call cobcal. 
And through ostentation, says this writer, they never fail 
to load upon four or five horses what might easily be car- 
ried by one; in like manner as to the jewels, trinkets, and 
other things of value, they place in fifteen dishes what a 
single plate would very well hold. 

Something of this pomp seems io be referred to in 
Judges iii. 18, where we read o{ making an end of offer- 
ing the present, and of a number of people that bare it, 
all which apparently points out the introducing with great 
distinctness, as well as ceremony, every part of the pres- 
ent sent to this ancient prince, and the making use of as 
many hands in it as might be, conformably to the modern 
ritual of the Eastern courts. But what I chiefly take 
notice of it for, is to illustrate the account that is given us 
of Benhadad's present to the Prophet Elisha, which con- 
sisted of forty camels' burthen of the good things of Da- 
mascus. J This Syrian prince without doubt sent Elisha 
a present answerable to his magnificence : but can it be 
imagined that it was the full loading of forty camels, and 
at the same time wholly consisting of provisions, such as 
bread and wine, fruit and fowl, as a Jewish rabbi suppos- 
ed, if I understand Bishop Patrick right ?|1 

A gentleman, I remember,on ce showed me a prodig- 
ious tooth in his possession, which apparently had be- 
longed to one of the monsters of the deep, but was found 

* Lett X. pnge 86. f Wliat he means by this word, I do not know. 

■>■ 2 Kings \iii. 0. i| In his Com. on tljc place. 


by one of his ancestors among the treasures of a Roman 
Catholic who was fond of relics, wrapped up in silk, be- 
sides two or three outer covers of paper, on one of which 
was written, A tooth of the holy Saint Paul. " Don't 
3'ou think," said the humourous possessor, turning him- 
self to the company with this curiosity, *Mhat Saint Paul 
had a fine set of grinders ?" One would imagine these 
commentalx)rs must have supposed the Prophet Elisha's 
were full as large, to be able to make use of forty camel 
loads of provisions, equivalent to twenty thousand pound 
weight*' at least, during his stay at Damascus. 

The true light in which we are doubtless to consider 
this passage is, that the various things that were sent to 
Elisha for a present were carried for state on a number of 
camels, and that no fewer than forty were employed in 
the cavalcade ; not that they carried each a full loading. 
And it is probable that besides eatables, and wine of Hel- 
bon, some of their valuable manufactures of white woolf 
were contained in the present; they were as properly the 
good things of Damascus, as the produce of their en- 
chanting gardens. 



That present which the children of Israel sent to Eglon 
king of Moab, that I mentioned under the last Observa^ 
lion, was a kind of tribute, or an acknowledgment of in- 
feriority and subjection; and the presents that are sent 
to powerful princes, by other kings, are frequently looked 
upon in this light by those that receive them. 

* See Russell, Vol. si. page 16G, uho tells us there, that the Arab came^ 

carries one hundred Rotoloes, or five hundred pounds weight, according to 

%vhich forty camel loads are equal to twenty thousand pounds ; but the 

Turkman's camera common load is one hundred and sixty Rotoloes, or 

eight hundred pounds weight. If we suppose these camels of Damascus 

were only of the Arab breed, twenty thousand pounds weight was tlieir 

proper loading. 

- Ezek. xxvii. 18. 


Sir J. Chardin has remarked, that presents are viewed 
in this light, in such cases, not only in Turkey, but al- 
most through all the Levant; and he very justly applies 
the thought to Ps. Ixxii. 10. Those presents were evi- 
dently of that kind ; the following verse puts it out of all 
doubt; but the haughty Asiatic princes oftentimes put 
that construction on presents that were not sent with any 
such intention. As they do so now, they probably did 
so anciently : to which some Jess powerful or distressed 
princes might the more willingly submit, as there was 
something equivocal in these marks of attention paid to 
potent princes. 



Maillet, in that passage I quoted in the last article 
but one, speaks diminutively of the cobcal, or wooden 
sandals of the ladies, which are carried in their nuptial 
processions with the rest; though, according to his own 
account, they are not wholly without ornaments. Shoes 
perhaps of this kind are referred to by the Prophet 
Amos, chap. ii. 6, where shoes have been commonly, and 
it appears from hence with justness, understood to mean 
something of a trifling value. 

The Turkish officers, and "also their wives,'' says 
Rauwolff, speaking of Tripoli on the coast of Syria, =^ "go 
very richly clothed with rich flowered silks, artificially 
made and mixed of several colours. But these clothes are 
commonly given them by those that have causes depend- 
ing before them, for they do not love to part with their 
own money, to promote their cause, and to be favourable 
to them." 

I think I see here, a picture of the corruption of the 
Jewish judges that Amos complains of : silver made them 
pervert the judgment of the righteous; nay, so mean a 

• Pace 38. 


piece of finery as a pair of wooden sandals for their wives 
would make them condemn the innocent poor, who could 
not afford to make them a present of equal value. 

Amos viii. 6, is, I suppose, to be understood in the 
same light: the rich defrauding the poor, knowing that if 
those poor complained, they could carry their point 
against Iheni for a little silver, if not for a pair of cohcah 



But mean as the present of a pair of cobcal may seera, 
presents of still less value are frequently made in these 
countries. " In familiar visits, amongst inferior people, 
you shall seldom have them come without bringing a flow- 
er, or an orange, or some other such token of their respect 
to the person visited," says Maundrell.* Bishop Po- 
cocke confirms this, when speaking of his drawing near 
an encampment of the Arabs that attended him, in their 
way to Mount Sinai, he says, " Here one of them, who 
had a difference with one of the company, as he was in 
his own country, came and brought him a flower, as a 
present, which being accepted of, was a sign that all was 
made up."f 

These trifling presents however are not confined to the 
meanest of the people, for Egmont andHeyman tell us,t 
that on their leaving Scala Nuova, some Greeks brought 
Ihem flowers and odoriferous herbs as tokens of their 
friendship. In what a strong point of light, as to their 
veneration for our Lord, does this place the present the 
Eastern Magi made him : in the circumstances in which 
they found him, a flower, an orange, or a citron, or an/ 
such trifle, had been sufficient .to introduce them to the 
young child ; but mean as his appearance was, they treat^ 

* See Obs. i. page 269. | Vol. i. page 140. :^ Vol. i. page 125. 


ed him as a royal child, and even after they found the 
poverty of his parents, presented bitn with presents of 
the richest kind, gold, frankincense, and myrrh, such as 
the queen of Sheba presented to Solomon in his glory, 
But here doubtless we are to rest, and content ourselves 
wilh this simple explanation: to go on, and suppose the 
frankincense was designed by them, or intended by Prov- 
idence itself, to intimate his Deity ; the myrrh his being 
a mortal; and the gold his being a king; is a refinement 
that is certainly unnatural, and absolutely in the monk- 
ish taste, 



But though things of very little value are sometimes 
offered as presents, those to whom presents are made do 
not think themselves always obliged graciously to accept 
every thing that is brought, or even to dissemble their 
dislike ; they frequently reject the present, and refuse 
the favour sought. 

The behaviour of an Aga in Egypt to Dr. Pococke, 
demonstrates this ; as does also this passage of Capt. 
Norden : " The Cashefof Esna was encamped in this 
place. He made us come ashore. I waited immediately 
upon him, with some small presents. He received me 
very civilly, and ordered coffee to be served me. But 
lie refused absolutely what I offered him as a present, and 
let me know by the interpreter, that, in the places from 
whence we were come, we had given things of greater 
value, and that we ought not to show less respect to him."* 
Something of the like nature appears in many other pas- 
sages in travels. 

If a present was not somewhat proportionate to the 
quality of the person applied to, the circumstances of 

* Vol, ii. page 185. 


him that offered it, and the value of the favour asked, it 
was rejecred. 

Lambs and sheep were often given as presents. So 
the Casbef I have been speaking of, made Norden and 
his company a present the next dixy of two very fat sheep, 
together with a great basket of bread, ^ The reys, or 
boatmen, that had carried them up the Nile, we are told 
in like manner, came to see them three days before, and 
made them a present of an excellent sheep, together with 
a basket of Easter bread. f 

Perhaps we may be ready to imagine, presents of this 
kind were only made to tra\ellers, that wanted provi- 
sions; but this would be a mistake. Sir John Chardin, 
in his MS. expressly tells us, "it is the custom of the 
East for poor people, and especially those that live in the 
country, to make presents to their lords of lambs and 
sheep, as an offering, tribute, or succession. Presents to 
men, like offerings to God, expiate offences. "J 

So d'Arvieux mentions lambs, among the things offer- 
ed to him as presents, when he officiated as secretary to 
the Great emir of the Arabs. Voy. dans la Pal. p. 62. 

The Jewish people were in a low state in the time of 
Malachi, and almost entirely engaged in country business. 

How energetic, if we assemble these circumstances to- 
gether, is the expostfilation of the Prophet ! If ye offer 
the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil ? And if ye offer (he 
lame and the sick, is it not evil ? Offer it now unto thy 
governor, will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy per- 
son ? Mai. i. 8. 

*Paj^e 184. t P«Se 1S2. 

4: Couturne de TOricnt que les pauvres gens, sur tout des Champs, don- 
nent a Icur Seigneurs des agneaux & mouionscn presens, on signe d'oftVan- 
<le, tribut, succession. Presents aux horames, comme les offVandes a Dieii 
expient les Pechez. Cy the term succession, I presume is meaiit a present 
snade to a great man to obtain his favour, in case of dispute, jilsout succeed- 
ing to an inheritance, or part of it No, it means the presents made to a 
great man on his succeeding to an office or emplorfment. See the following 
Obserx-ation. Edit. 

VOL, II. 31 


When ihey made presents of Iambs or sheep, they 
brought those I hat were very fat : would a Jewish gover- 
nor have accepted one that was blind, and consequently 
half starved? or pining with lameness or sickness? 



The common present that is now made to the great in 
these countries is a horse ; there is reason to think an ass 
might formerly answer the same purpose. 

" If it is a visit of ceremony from a bashaw," says Dr. 
Russell, "or other person in power, a fine horse, some- 
times with furniture, or some such valuable present, is 
made to him at his departure.'* Dr. Perr^-^ has given 
us many instances of horses being presented : among 
others, he tells us when a person has the dignity of a Bey 
conferred on him, the new made Bey presents that offi- 
cer from whom he receives the ensign, that is sent on the 
part of the vSultan, with a horse, a fur of marte zebeline, 
and twenty thousand aspers.f In another place he tells 
us the new Bashaiv of Egypt, soon after his arrival, 
had three exceeding fine horses sent him as a present 
from some one of the Beys ; and the next day a string of 
tweniyfour was presented to him on the part of all the 
Beys that were present. J 

As asses Vvcre used in the more remote ages of antiqui- 
ty, and were esteemed no dishonorable beast for the sad- 
dle. Sir J. Chardin, in his MS. supposes that when Sam- 
uel disclaimed having taken the ass of any one, when he 
denied his having defrauded any, oppressed any, or taken 
any bribe, 1 Sam. xii. 3, he is to be understood of not 
having taken any ass for his riding. In the same light he 
considers the similar declaration of Moses, Numb. xvi. \5, 
His account is, asses being then esteemed very honorable 

* Page 81. t Page 50. ^: Page 208: 


creatures for riding on,^ as they are at this very lime in 
Persia, being rode with saddles, though not like those for 
horses, yet such as are commodious, the Lawyers make 
great use of them. Consult Numb. xvi. 15, for Moses is 
there to be understood as saying, that no beast for the 
saddle, such as were wont to be presented to grandees 
and emperors, had been accepted by him. The words 
of Samuel are to be considered after the same manner. 

And this, I make no doubt, is one thought involved in 
this exculpation of themselves, though perhaps it does 
not contain the whole of what they meant. f 



People that go info the presence of the great, carry 
with them some gift to make way for them, or send it be- 
fore them ; on the contrary, when a superior visits an in- 
ferior, it is expected that the inferior should make the 
visitor a present at his departure. 

This is directly affirmed by Sir J. Chardin, in one of 
the notes of his MS. It is the custom of the East, he says, 
when one invites a superior, to make him a present after 
the repast, as it were in acknowledgment of his trouble ; 
frequently it is done before it ; it being no augmentation 
of honor to come to the house of one that is an inferior. 
But they make no presents to equals, or those that are be- 
low themselves. 

Sir John applies this custom in the East, to Jerobo- 
am's proposing to the Prophet, that prophesied against 
the altar at Bethel, to give him a reward if he would go 

* See Numbers xxii. 21, 30, Jiidscs v. 10, 2 Samuel xvi. 2. 
f More seems to be meant, I Samuel viii. 16. 


with lilfn, and refresh himself, 1 Kings xiii. 7.^ And he 
thinks fhi^ would have been understood by ihe king, as 
treating the Prophet as a superior : ** Icy done le roy 
voiiloit trailer le prophele comme son superieur." 

I am much obliged to this writer, for the very clear 
Account he has given of this Eastern custom ; but I am 
somewhat apprehensive it is improperly applied to this 
passage of Scripture. I cannot easily suppose it was Je- 
roboam's intention to acknowledge the Prophet his supe- 
rior. I should imagine nothing more was intended, by 
what he proposed to do, than what was done to Jeremiah 
by Nebuzaradan the captain of Nebuchadnezzar's guard, 
when he ga\e that Prophet victuals and a reward, and 
let him go, Jer. xl. 5 : and, I apprehend, no one imagines 
that commander designed to acknowledge the Jewish 
Prophet to be his superior. 

If if is applicable to any sacred story, it seems to me 
to be that of Esau's coming to visit his brother, on which 
occasion Jacob presented him with a considerable num- 
ber of cattle, telling him he saw his face, as though he 
had seen ihe face of God, Gen. xxxiii. 8, 10. 



I vf ILL not push my remarks on the presents of the 
East any further here, excepting the making this single 
observation more, that the sending presents to princes to 
induce them to help the distressed, has been practised in 
these countries in late times, as well as in the days of 
Asa, of whom we read, that he took all the silver and the 
gold that were left in the freasiires of the house of the 
Lord, and the treasures of the hinges honsef and deliv- 

* The retvard here mentioned, seems to mean no more than a yearly 
s alar If. Edit. 


ered them into the hand of his servants : and king Asa 
sent them to Benhadad the son of Tabrimon, the son of 
Hezion king of Si/ria, that dwelt at Damascus^ saying'^ 
There is a league between me and thee, and between my 
father and thy father: behold I have sent unto thee a 
present of silver and gold; come and break thy league 
with Baasha king of Israel, that he may depart from 

To us it appears slrange, that a present should be 
thought capable of inducing one prince to break with 
another, and engage himself in war ; but as it was ancient- 
ly thought sufiScient, so we find in the Gesta Dei per 
Francos,f that an Eastern nobleman, that had the custo- 
dy of a castle called Hasarth, quarrelling with his master 
the prince of Aleppo, and finding himself obliged to seek 
for foreign aid, sent presents to Godfrey of Bouillon, to 
induce him to assist him. J What they were we are not 
told; but gold and silver, the things Asa sent Benhadad, 
were frequently sent in those times to the Crusade princes,|} 
and might probably be sent on this occasion to Godfrey. 

But to proceed. Presents were frequently sent to the 
great, before those that sent them made their appearance : 
I have therefore considered them first : the forms of 
Eastern salutation follow. 



A LEARNED, as well as an ingenious and lively com- 
mentator, supposes,^ that the salutation our Lord refers 
to, Matt. V. 47, If ye salute your brethren only, what do 

* 1 Kings XV. 18, 19. f Tome i. iiage 730. 

i Granting subsidies is exactly the same in the TVest as those presents, 
were in the East ; and productive of the same effects, i.e. *• they induce 
princes to break with each other, and engage in war !" Edit. 

Ij Vide Gesta Dei, &c. page 73fi. § Dr. Dodd. Fam. Exp. on that place. 


ye more than others :* do not even the publicans so J* 
means embracing, though it is a different word, 1 would 
observe, that it is made use of in the Seplnagint to ex- 
press that action of endearment ;* and which is made use 
of by an apochryphal writer :f whereas the word we 
translate 5«/w/e is of a much more general nature: this 
I apprehend, arose from his being struck with the thought, 
that it could never be necessary to caution his disciples? 
not to restrain the civilities of a common salutation to 
those of their own religions party. 

Juvenal, when he satirizes the Jews of the apostolic 
age for their religious opinions, and represents them as 
unfriendly, and even malevolent to other people ;J and 
when he mentions their refusing to show travellers the 
way, or to point out to them where they might find water 
to drink when thirsty with journeying, takes no notice of 
their not saluting those of another nation ; yet there is 
reason to believe, from these words of Christ, that many 
of them at least would not, and that even a Jewish publi- 
can received no salutations from one of his own nation, 
excepting brother publicans. 

Nor shall we wonder at this, or think it requisite to 
suppose the word we translate salute, A<r7ru^ofAoch and 
which certainly, sometimes at least, signifies nothing more 
than making use of some friendly words upon meeting 
with people,(| must here signify something more particu- 
lar, since we find some of the present inhabitants of the 
East seem to want this admonition of our Lord. 

" When the Arabs salute one another," according to 
Niebuhr, " it is generally in these terms : Saldm aleikum, 
Peace he with yon; in speaking which words, they lay 
the right hand on the heart. The answer is Aleiknm es- 
saldm, With you he peace. Aged people are inclined to 

* Tli^txctfACa.vee, Gen. xxix. 13, I Kings iv. 16, Cant. ii. 6. 

■J- Ecclus. xxx. 19. + Sat. 14. Non monstrare vias, &c. 

Jl Ecclesiasticus xU- 20, strongly determines this : Jie ashamed—of 
silence before them that salute thee. 


add to these words, And the mercy and blessing of God. 
The Mohammedans of Egypt and Syria never salute a 
Christian in this manner ; they content themselves with 
saying to them, Good day to you; or. Friend^ how do you 
do? The Arabs of Yemen, who seldom see any Christ- 
ians, are not so zealous but that sometimes they will give 
them the Salam aleikum." 

Presently after he says, " For a long time I thought 
the Mohammedan custom of saluting Christians, in a dif- 
ferent manner from that made use of to those of their own 
profession, was an effect of their pride, and religious big- 
otry. I saluted them sometimes with the Salam alei- 
kum, and I had often only the common answer. At 
length I observed in Natolia, that the Christians them- 
selves might probably be the cause, that Mohammedans 
did not make the same return to their civilities that thev 
did to those of their own religion. For the Greek mer- 
chants, with whom I travelled in that couijtry, did not 
seem pleased with my saluting Mohammedans in the 
Mohammedan manner. And when they were not known 
to be Christians, by those Turks whom they met with in 
their journeying, it being allowed Christian travellers, in 
those provinces, to wear a white turban, '^' that banditti 
might take them at a distance for Turks, and people of 
courage, they never answered those that addressed them 
with the compliment of Salam aleikum. 

" One would not, perhaps, suspect that similar customs 
obtain, in our times, among Europeans : but I find, that 
the Roman Catholics, of some provinces of Germany, 
never address the Protestants that live among them Avith 
the compliment, Jesus Christ he j)raised ; and when 
such a thing happens by mistake, the Protestants do not 
return it after the manner in use among Catholics, For 
ever and ever. Amen /" f 

* Christians in common, being obliged to wear the sash oi' their Tur- 
bans -white striped ivith blue, llussell's Description of Aleppo, volume ii. 
page 42. 

t I'Arabia page 43, 44. 


After this, the words of our Lord, in the close of the 
vtii of Matthew want no further commentary. The Jews 
\7ouId not address the usual compliment of Peace be to 
you to either heathens, or publicans; {\\q publicans of the 
Jewish nation would use it to their countrymen that 
were publicans, but not to heathens ; though the more 
rigid Jews would not do it to them any more than to 
heathens : our Lord required his disciples to lay aside 
the raoroseness of Jews, and express more extensive be- 
nevolence in their salutations. There seems to be noth- 
ing of embracing thought of in this case, though that, 
doubtless, was practised anciently among relations and in- 
timate friends, as it is among modern x\siatics. 

When then the son of Sirach speaks oi silence before 
them that salute thee, ch. xli, 20, as a just ground of shame, 
he cannot be understood io mean silence with regard to 
the salutations of those of another nation, for this was 
rather thought to be honorable among the old Jews, a 
proper expression of rough and inflexible virtue, and a 
paying a due attention to the prerogatives of the Jewish 
nation; it must be understood of not returning the saluta- 
tions of (heir own countrymen ; of such noncompliance 
with the forms of civility in use among those of their na- 
tion, he thought they ought to be ashamed. 

Elisha's enjoining Gehazi not to salute any that he met, 
or to return the salutation of such, evidently expresses 
the haste he would have him make to recover the child, 
and bring him back to life.'^^ For the salutations of the 
East often take up a long time. 

"The manner of salutation, as now practised by the 
people of Egypt, is not less ancient. The ordinary way 
of saluting people, when at a distance, is bringing the 
hand down to the knees, and then carrying it to the stom- 
ach. Marking their devotedness to a person by hold- 

* 2 Kings iv. 29. Gird up thy loins, and take my ^taff in thine hand, 
and go thy luay ; if thou meet any man, salute him not : and if any sa- 
lute thecj ansit^er him not again, ^c. 


ing down the hand ; as they do their affection by their 
after raising It up to the heart. When they come close 
together afterward, they take each other by the hand in 
token of friendship. What is very pleasant, is to see the 
country people reciprocally clapping each other's hands 
very smartly, twenty or thirty times together, in meeting, 
without saying any thing more than Salamat aiche haU 
com ; that is to say, How do you do ? I ivish you good 
health. If this form of complimenting must be acknowl- 
edged to be simple, it must be admitted to be very affec- 
tionate. Perhaps it marks out a better disposition of 
heart, than all the studied phrases which are in use among 
us, and which politeness almost always makes use of at the 
expense of sincerity. After this first compliment many 
other friendly questions are asked, about the health of 
the family, mentioning each of the children distinctly, 
whose names they know." &c.^ 

If the forms of salutation among the ancient Jewish 
peasants, took up as much time as those of the modern 
Egyptians that belong to that rank of life, it is no wonder 
the Prophet commanded his servant to abstain from sa- 
luting those he might meet with, when sent to recover the 
child of the Sfaunamitess to life : they that have attribut- 
ed this order to haste have done right ; but they ought to 
have shown the tediousness of Eastern compliments. 

But I very much question whether this was the cause 
of our Lord's forbidding the Seventy to salute, when he 
sent them forth to preach the gospel, Luke x. 4, Carry 
neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes, and salute no man 
by the way. Was the not making use of shoes expressive 
of greater expedition in travelling ? I should rather sup- 
pose that either it signifies not saluting any in their jour- 
ney, in the same sense as David saluted Nabal, 1 Sam- 
XXV. 5, 6, 14,-f when he applied to him for some refresh- 
• Maillet, I'Egypte, lett. 11, p. 137, 138. 
t David sent out ten y9ung men, and David said to the young men . . . 
go to JVabalf and greet him in my name ; after which wc are informed 
that Abigail, Nabal's wife, was told by a servant, David sent messengers 
out of the loilderness to salute our mastery and he railed on them. 

VOL. n. 32 


ment in fhe wilderness, leaving it to them to whom they 
preached to invite them to their houses, from first to last, 
in this journey ; or else that it was, somehow or other, a 
part of that meanness in which they were to appear, not 
to salute those they met. 

Niebuhr tells us a story that is rather remarkable, 
relating ro salutations among the Arabs of the desert of 
Mount Sinai: he says, that a woman who was on foot, 
and therefore seemed to be a person in low life, meeting 
him in a strait passage in the valley of Genne, she sat 
down by the side of the way, turning her back till they 
were past, but as he wished this woman peace, which is 
their form of salutation, and his Arab guides perceived 
by that he was not acquainted with their customs, they in- 
formed him that it was out of respect to strangers that she 
had turned her back, and that, according to their usages, 
he should not have saluted her at all.^ 

His saluting her was, it seems, contrary to their usages, 
on what account is not perfectly clear : if it was on 
account of a supposed great disproportion of rank, our 
Lord might command them to assume this among other 
expressions of meanness, in opposition to those appear- 
ances of worldly grandeur the Jews expected to see, 
whenever ihe kingdom of God came, the kingdom of the 



The Eastern salutations differ considerably, according 
to the difference of rank of the persons they salute, 

• Voy. tome i. p. 192. Tn the same place Niebuhr observes that they had 
just before met an Arab lady riding on a camel, accompanied by one domes- 
tic, who in order to testify her respect for the Sheiks who accompanied 
him, rode out of the path, then alighted from her camel, and passed by 
them on foot. Edit. 

t Lukes. 11. 


"The common salufation," Sandys says,=^ " h laying 
the right hand on the bosom, and a little declining their 
bodies; but when they salute a person of great rank, they 
bow almost to the ground, and kiss the hem of his gar- 
ment." Egmont and Heyman, agreeably to this, tell us,f 
that two Greek noblemen that introduced them to the ex- 
iled Cham of Tartary, who resided at Scio, kissed his 
robe at their entrance, and that they took their leave of 
him with the same ceremonies; ^jud Dr. Pococke,J that 
when he attended the English Consul on a visit of cere- 
mony which he made the Pasha of Tripoli, upon his re- 
turn from meeting the Mecca caravan, the two Dragomen, 
or interpreters of the Consul, kissed the Pasha's garment, 
and put it to their foreheads, as soon as he was seated, 
when he granted a request that was made, and when they 
went away. II Pitts, le Bruyn, and Thevenof,§ agree with 
Sandys also in the accounts they give of the common sal- 
utation. Which compliment the last mentioned author 
tells us, he saw the Grand Seignior himself pay the people^ 
when he rode through the streets of Constantinople in 
great state, *' He saluted all the people, having his right 
hand constantly on his breast, bowing first to one side, 
and then to the other ; and the people with a low and re- 
spectful voice wished him all happiness and prosperity ."^ 
This form of salutation then between equals is what supe- 

• Page 50. t Vol. i. paije 258. i Vol. iii. pf>ge 237. 

II When then some Commentators tell us, the ten men's taking hold of 
the skirt of him that was a Jeiv^ Zech. viii. 23, is to lie considered as a ges- 
ture of entreating friendly assistance, they seem to be under a mistake ; i' 
is rather to be understood as an application of a most submissive kind, to 
be taken under his protection, or received among his dependents. Such 
an explanation of this gesture perfectly suits the interpretation of tiiosc, 
that suppose these words point out those accessions to the Jewish churcli 
and nation, under the Asmonean princes, when several tribes of the Gen- 
tile world submitted to be circumcised, and were incorporated with the 
Jews. Of these, the Idumeans were the most celebrated ; but tliere were 
others that thus united themselves with the Jewish nation. 

f Pitts, page 66. Le Bruyn, tome i. page 422. Thevcnot, page 30. 
C{ Part i. page ^7. 


riors also sometimes use to those that are much below 

Shaw's account of the Arab compliment, Peace be un- 
to you, or common salutation, agrees with what has been 
mentioned; but he further tells us, that inferiors, out of 
deference and respect, kiss the feet, the knees, or the 
garments of their superiors 3^ he might have added, or 
the hands; for d'Arvieux tells us, that though the Arab 
emir he visited withdrew his hand when he offered to 
kiss it, he frequently offered it to people to kiss when he 
had a mind to oblige them to do him that homage.f They 
are not, however, expressions of equal submission : the 
kissing the hand is not only apparently less lowly than 
that of the feet ; but d'Arvieux expressly tells us so in 
another passage,J where he says, the women that wait on 
the Arab princesses kiss their hands, when they do them 
the favour not to suffer them to kiss their (eet, or the bor- 
der of their robe. 

Dr. Shaw observes, that in these respects the Arabs 
were just the same two or three thousand years ago as 
they are now : and ceremonies of the like kind, we may 
believe were used anciently among the neighbouring people 
too, as they are at this time. So our Lord represents a 
servant as fulling down at his master's feet when he had a 
favour to beg ; and an inferior servant as paying the same 
compliment to the first, who was, it seems, a servant of a 
higher class, Matt, xviii. 26, 29. In like manner the 
Evans^elist Luke tells us, that Jairus fell down at our 
Lord's feet, when he begged he would go and heal his 
daughter, chap. viii. 41 ; that St. Peter fell at the knees 
of Jesus, after the present Arab mode, I presume, chap. 
V. 8 ; and he represents the woman, troubled with the is- 
sue of blood, as touching the hem of his garment, which 
I suppose^ means kissing it, Luke viii. 44. The other in- 
habitants of that country, we find, used the same ceremo- 
nies : so the Syro Phenician woman fell at our Lord's 

* Page 237. ^ t Voy. dans la Pal. page S. t Page 252. 


feet, Mark vii. 25, 26 ; not to mention the instances of re- 
inoler antiquity in the Old Testament. 

It is agreed, that there is something very graceful and 
noble in the forms of Eastern salutation ;^ some of them 
however have appeared too low, and expressive of too 
much disproportion. The natives of the West therefore^ 
even when they have been in these Easlern countries, 
have not been wont to adopt these profound expressions 
of respect. So Conon the Athenian, on account of that 
kind of adoration the kings of Persia exacted of every 
one that came into their presence, which the next citation 
will explain, declined personal converse with that prince, 
and chose to transact his business wilh him by writing ; 
not, he said, that he was himself unwilling to pay any kind 
of honor to the king, but because he thought it might be 
a disgrace to the state to which he belonged, if he should 
rather observe, on this occasion, the usage of those they 
called Barbarians, than the forms of his countrymen.f 

They however sometimes seem to have thought these 
expressions of reverence too great for mortals, at least 
they sometimes spoke of them in that strain: so Curtius 
tells us, J that Alexander thought the habit and manners 
of the Macedonian kings unequal to his greatness, after 
the conquest of Asia ; and was for being treated accord- 
ing to the modes of Persia, where kings were reverenced 
after the manner of the gods : he therefore suffered peo- 
ple, in token of their respect, to lie upon the ground be- 
fore him, &c. 

This was enough to lead St. Peter to say to Cornelius, 
a Roman, who received him with a reverence esteemed 
the lowest and most submissive even in the ceremonious 
East, and which the Romans were wont to speak of as 
too solemn to be paid to mere men, Stand vp, I wyself 
also am a man, Acts x. 26; though Cornelius intended 
nothing idolatrous, nor did St. Peter suppose he did. In 

• See Rauwolff, page 42, Pococke vol. i. page 182. 
j- Corn. Nep. in VitA Ccm. i Lib. vi. cap. C. 


truth, there was something extraordin.iry in this prostra" 
tion of Cornelius, but wiihout any thing of idolah}. He 
was a person of rank, St. Peter made no figure in civil life, 
yet Cornelius received him not only wiih respeci, but as 
his superior: not only as his superior, but wiih I he gieat- 
est degree of reverence; not only with the greatest de- 
gree of reverence, according to the usages of bis own na- 
tion, but with an expression of veneration, which, though 
common in the country where Cornelius then rej^ided, 
his countrymen were ready to say ought to be appropri- 
ated to those that were more than men : but it seems he 
felt the greatest degree of reverence and awe at tlie sight 
of the Apostle, and those emotions threw him into the at- 
titude he had frequently seen the inhabitants of Syria put 
themselves in, when they would express the greatest 
respect, the rather as the Apostle was a native of that 

The case of St. John's throwing himself at the feet of, 
the Angel, ^ is to be viewed in a somewhat different light. 
St. John did nothing at all but what was conformable to 
the usages of his own country, when the people of it de- 
signed innocently to express great reverence and grati- 
tude. It is astonishing then that so many learned men 
should have looked upon it as an idolatrous prostration. 
Nothing however is more certain than this fact : and it 
has been thus understood, not only by controversial writ- 
ers, when disputing with heat against their antagonists 5 
but by the more cool and dispassionate commentators. 
That they should not at all consider the Eastern usages, 
is no wonder; they have been in common most unhappily 
neglected; but the attempt of the Apostle to repeat the 
prostration, for he would have done it a second time, suf- 
ficiently showed, one would imagine, that the Apostle 
did not think the angel rejected it as an idolatrous piece 
of respect. What a strange interpretation must that be, 
which supposes St. John, a Jew by descent, a mortal 

• Rev. six. 10, and c xxii. 8. 


enemy in consequence by birth to all idolatry ; a zealous 
preacher against it, through a very long life; who finish 
ed one of his epistles with these \ery words, LUtle chil- 
dren^ keep yourselves from idols, as desirous to have this 
perpetually fixed on their memories, whatever else they 
forgot ; should, when suffering in Patmos for the Lord 
Jesus, and when blessed with the influence of the pro- 
plielic spirit, atten»pt to do an idolatrous action, and tore- 
peat that attempt in opposition to the checks of his celes- 
tial teacher ! Nothing; sure can be more inconceivable. 
At (he same time nothing is easier than the true interpre- 
tation : struck wiih vent^ration for his angelic instructor, 
and full of gratitude toward him for what he had shown 
him, he fell, according to the custom of his nation, at his 
feet to do him reverence : See thou do it not, said the An- 
gel, it is not to me these thanks are due, I have in this 
been only fulfilling the orders of him who is my Lord as 
well as yours ; worship God therefore, to whom in justice 
you ought to ascribe these illuminations. Beauteous was 
this turning away of the Angel from him in the Apostle's 
eyes, and from the additional force of this graceful action, 
as well as from a lively sense, that though honors are ul- 
timately due to God, as the Original Author of every 
good gift, and in particular of intellectual lights,=^ yet that 
it was to express a reverence too to them that are the in- 
struments of conveying them to us. St. John, upon some 
further revelation of the Angel, would have again thrown 
himself at his feet, but found the Angel persevering in 
that most amiable and devout modesty ; worship God. 



Thevfnot remarked, in the passage I cited under the 
last Observation, that the people of Constantinople wish- 

^ James i. 17. 


cd the Grand Seignior, when he saluted *hem as he rode 
through their streets, an happiness and prosperity, with a 
low and respectful voice. I do not however apprehend* 
that the customs of the East, with respect to the manner 
of doing persons honor there, are changed, though we 
read, that when our Lord entered with something of state 
into Jerusalem, they cried Hosanna to the son of David ^ 
blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord! Ho- 
sanna in the highest ! Matt. xxi. 9 ; and that when Sol- 
omon was brought up from Gihon, after having received 
the regal unction, The people rejoiced with great joy, so 
that the earth rent with the sound of them, 1 Kings i. 40 : 
since these were not the sounds of salutation, but the 
cries of people at some distance from Solomon, and from 
our Lord, dispersedly expressing their triumph. 

So we find in Maillet, that when there is any rain at 
Cairo, it is so extraordinary, and at the same time so ex- 
quisitely grateful, that the children run about the streets 
with cries of joy p^ and that when the only son of that mag- 
nificent person, who was the Bashaw of Egypt in 1696, 
was passing along in a grand procession, in order to be cir- 
cumcised, the way was all strewed with flowers, and the air 
mmg with acclamations and cries of joy.f This was 
among a people that would doubtless have saluted a prince 
as he passed along, in the same manner in which the peo- 
ple of Constantinople saluted their Sultan, with a low and 
respectful voice. This difierence is to be attended to, as 
it serves to determine that what was said when our Lord 
entered Jerusalem, was the expression of gratulation and 
triumph, not a salutation or speaking to him. 



The excellence of Eastern salutations consists not 
merely in the attitudes into which they put themselves, 

* Letter i. page 17. t Letter x. page 78. 


buf in the expressions they make use of, which have fre- 
quently something very devout, and very sublime in them. 
God be gracious unto thee, my son, were the words 
with which Joseph received Benjamin, Gen. xliii. 29. 
This would have been called through all Europe, and the 
living languages of this part of the world, the giving a per- 
son one's benediction, says Sir J. Chardin in his MS. but 
it is a simple salutation in Asia, and is there used instead 
of those offers and assurances of service which it is the 
custom to make use of in the "West, in first addressing or 
taking leave of an acquaintance. It cannot easily be be- 
lieved how eloquent the people of the East of all religions 
are in wishing good, and the mercies of God to one anoth- 
er, upon all occasions, and even those that scarcely know 
them to whom they speak ; yet at the same time they are 
some of the worst and most double tongued people in the 
w^orld. It appears from Scripture this has always been 
their character. One may say of them in all ages that 
which David did, They bless with their mouths, but they 
curse inwardly. 

How noble the expressions as well as the postures of 
Eastern salutation ! but how unhappy that the tongue 
and the heart are at such variance ! This account, howev- 
er, explains the ground on which the Scriptures so often 
call the salutations and farewells of the East by the term 



Full of reverence as the Eastern addresses are, and 
especially of those to the great, in some^ points they are 
not so scrupulous as we are in the West. An inferior's 
mentioning himself before he names his superior is an in- 
stance of this kind. 

Every body knows in how odious a light Cardinal Wof- 
sey's naming himself before his king. Ego et Rex mens, 

VOL. II. 83 


appeared in England, in the sixteenth century. It was 
tliought the most consummate arrogance; nevertheless, 
Sir J. Chardin assures us it is customary among the Per- 
sians, for the speaker to name himself first. 

He mentions this in one of his MSS. as illustrating 
1 Sam. xxiv. 12. The hoRV judge between me and thee^ 
David spoke after this manner to Saul, and that when he 
treated that prince with great reverence : David stooped 
with his face to the earth, and boned himself, says the 
eighth verse. Gen. xxiii. 15, compared with verse 6, is 
another instance of it. David's mentioning himself first 
therefore, when speaking to Saul, marks out no insolence 
in him ; it was on the contrary perfectly agreeable to the 
modern ceremonial of Eastern courts, at least to that of 



I HAVE been supposing that the falling down at a per- 
son's feet signifies kissing his feet, which, according to 
Dr. Shaw, is a way of expressing respect among the pres- 
ent Arabs ; but I am not sure that this is perfectly ex- 
act: there is an Eastern way of complimenting, not pre- 
cisely the same, though very near akin to it, which very 
possibly may be referred to in some of those passages I 
mentioned. But if it shonld, it makes no alteration ofim- 
portance : accuracy, however, requires me to take notice 
of it. What is more, it is necessary to the explaining 
some other passages. 

Paboiis [jj^j^if is a Persian word, which signifies kiss- 
ing the feet, a ceremony very ancient in Persia, for it was 
instituted by its first king, as a mark, not only of the rev- 
erence to be paid kings by their subjects, but of the tak- 
ing the oath of fidelity and homage by vassal or feudato- 
ry princes to their sovereigns. This ceremony was af- 


terward changed as to subjects of lower rank, miokissing 
the ground in the presence of their princes: this the 
Persians in their language call, i^J if-^ Roiiee zemeen, 
which signifies the face to the earth ; and that of kissing 
the feet was reserved for strangers,* and subjects of the 
highest quality.^ 

It seems however that this limited use of kissing the 
ground, which d'Herbelot speaks of, did not always con- 
tinue, since he tells us,f that Mohammed Kothbeddin, the 
Khouarezmian, who succeeded bis father in the year of 
our Lord 1199, was installed in the throne of his ances- 
tors by his great lords, who took the oath of fidelity to 
him, and paid him due homage. This ceremonj' was 
called in the Persian language, which the Khouarezmians 
made use of, boos scmeen, (jti^ U^J^ ^'»tl rouee semeen, 
iJ^J ^^ ^^^^ ^^> kissing the earth, and the face to the 
earth; because, according to the ancient Persian custom, 
which continues to this day, homage was paid to their 
sovereign by kissing the earth, or touching it with their 
foreheads in their presence. 

I will not attempt to cite every passage of d'Herbelot 
which makes mention of this ceremony ; but I must by 
no means omit a very remarkable account relating to it,J 
in which he describes the behaviour of an Eastern prince 
toward his conqueror. This prince, he says, threw him- 
self one day on the ground, and kissed the prints that his 
victorious enemy's horse had made there, reciting some 
verses in Persian which he had composed, to this effect : 

" The mark that the foot of your horse has left upon the 
dust, serves me now for a crown. 

"The ring which I wear as the badge of my slavery, i^; 
become my richest ornament. 

* To these forms may be added, the (^ii'*i U''^ (*f^^'^ damcn 
hoos daden, to kiss the hem of the garment ; a custom also among the Per- 
sians. From the Persian noun boas, probably our buss, a kiss, is derived. 

t Page 6G9. r Page 43^. 


*' While I shall have the happiness to kiss the dust of 
1/ourfeety I shall think that fortune favours me with 
its tenderest caresses, and its sweetest kisses." 
This flattery, was so well received by the conqueror, who 
was a very vain glorious prince, and fond of adulation, 
that from that time forward he would always have the 
unfortunate prince near him; and he so well improved 
that favourable circumstance as at length to obtain his 
liberty, and a little after his entire re-establishment. 

We may see, I think, in these fragments of Oriental 
hisitory, that kissing the Ceet and lying prostrate in the 
dust before a person, are not merely expressions of rev- 
erence, but also, which is not so well known, of vassal- 
age ; and kissing the earth, of the most abject vassalage, 
sometimes arising from the low rank of those that paid 
the homage, and sometimes arising from dejection and 

When then the Psalmist saj^s, Ps. Ixxii. 8, 9, He shall 
have dominion from sea to sea, and from the river to the 
ends of the earth ; he marks out extent of empire; when 
he adds, they that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before 
him, it would be extremely wrong to suppose, he is only- 
specifying one particular part of that extensive authority 
he had before expressed in general terms, for he greatlj' 
enlarges the thought, it is equivalent to saying, "the wild 
Arabs, that the greatest conqueror could never tame, shall 
bow before him, or become his vassals ;" nay, his enemies, 
and consequently, these Arabs, among the rest, "shall 
lick the dust," or court him with the most abject submis- 

Conquered princes themselves, we see in-d'Herbelot, 
have actually prostrated themselves in the dust before 
their victors; and therefore the expressions of Isaiah, 
chap. xlix. 23, Kin^s shall be thy nnrsing fathers, and 
their Qneens thy nursing mothers : they shall bow down 
to thee with their face to the earth, and lick up the dust 
of thy feet, are not such an extravagance of Eastern rhet^ 


oric, as we may possibly have been ready to suspect ; 
supposing that this licking the dust refers to kings and 

That great commentator Grotius,^^ seems to suppose 
that this kissing the eaith by conquered kings is scarcely 
imaginable. Vitringa reproaches him for it ; but Vitringa,f 
gives no instance of this sort, which certainly it would have 
been right for him to have done, in animadverting on an 
author of such fame. The citations from d'Herbelot may 
supply that defect : to which may be added, that it is com- 
mon in the East to treat conquered princes with an inso- 
lence we can scarcely think credible ; and their submission 
on the other hand is astonishing. So when Egypt was 
subdued by the Turks, so lately as the year 1517, the sov- 
ereign of that country was hanged over one of the gates of 
Cairo; and that brutalities of much the same kind obtained 
in the remotest times of antiquity, may be learnt from 
Judges i. r. 

Hence some things required by the Prophets might be 
no more than just severities, and agreeable to the rules of 
those times, which to us appear somewhat astonishing, 
such as the death of Agag, and of Benhadad. The dif- 
ference between (heir and our laws of war ought ever fo 
be remembered, in explaining the Old Testament Scrip- 



All the compliments that inferiors make to superiors 
in the East are not, however, equally abject with those I 
have been mentioning. "If," says Pitts, "an inferior 
comes to pay his respects to a superior, he takes his 
superior's hand, and kisses it, afterward pullinc; it to his 
forehead. But if the superior be of a condescending 

' In io«- t In loc. 


temper, be will snatch awaj his hand as soon as the other 
has touched it ; then the interior puts his own fingers to 
his lips, and afterward to his forehead ; and sometinjes the 
superior will also in return put his hands to his lips."*, 

This explains what I cited from d'Arvieux, relating to 
the emir's withdrawing his hand when he approached to 
kiss it; but what is of more importance than this, it gives 
a clear account of the ground of some ancient and modern 
religious ceremonies. Thus Pitts has also told us, that 
the Mohammedans begin their worship with bringing their 
two thumbs together, and kissing them three times, and 
at every kiss touching their foreheads with their thumbs. 
When they cannot kiss the hand of a superior, they kiss 
their own, and put it to their foreheads ; they venerate an 
unseen being whom they cannot touch, in much the same 

After a like manner the ancient idolaters worshipped 
beings they could not touch : If I beheld the sun when it 
shined, or the moon walking in brightness : and my 
heart hath been secretly enticed, and my mouth hath kis- 
sed my hand, said Job, ch. xxx. 26, 27. f That this 
would have been an idolatrous action, has been often 
remarked ; but I do not remember it has been any where 
observed, to have been exactly agreeable to the civil 
expressions of respect that obtain in the East. 



They kiss too what comes from the hand of a superior. 
So Dr. Pococke,J when he describes the Egyptian cora- 

* Page 66. 
f Perhaps this custom gave rise to the term adoration, an act of divine 
worship 'n\ which the person brought his hand to liis mouth and kissed 
it, whence the latin aJoro from arf and os om, the mouth ; others may 
prefer ad and oro, to pray or entreat. Edit. 

t Travels, volume i. page 183. See also page 113. 


pliments, tells us, that upon their taking any thing from 
the hand of a superior, or thit is sent from such an one, 
they kiss it, and as the highest respect put it to their 

This is not peculiar to those of that country ; for the 
editor of the Ruins of Balbec observed, that the Arab 
governor of that city respectfully applied the firnian of 
the Grand Seignior to his forehead, which was presented 
to him when he and his fellow travellers first waited on 
him, and then kissed it, declaring himself the Sultan's 
slave's slave. "^ 

Is not this what Pharaoh refers to in Gen. xli. 40, 
Thou shall be over my house, and according iinlo thy 
word, or on account of thy word, shall all my 'people 
KISS, for so it is in the original, only in the throne will I 
be greater than thou: that is, I imagine, the orders of 
Joseph were to be received with the greatest respect by 
all, and kissed by the most illustrious of the princes of 

Drusius might well deny the sense that Kimchi and 
Grotius put on these words, the appointing that all the 
people should kiss his mouth. f That would certainly 
be reckoned in the West, in every part of the earth, as 
well as in the ceremonious East, so remarkable for keep- 
ing up dignity and state, a most strange way of command- 
ing the second man in the kingdom to be honored. It is 
very strange then that these commentators should pro- 
pose such a thoucjht; and the more so, as the Hebrew 
word 'Q pee is well known to signify word, or command, 
ment, as well as mouth. As this is apparent from Gen« 
xlv. 21 ; so also that the preposition b}^ dl often signifies 
according to ; or on account of, is put out of the ques- 
tion by that passage, as well as by Sam. iv. 12, Ezra x. 

* Page 'h 

t The original is ^^^^ t^^ pjy> -j.^ ij^,^ ve al peekm yUsak kolammee liter- 
ally ; and upon thj mouth shall all the people kiss i but ^q pee, may be 
. here used for commandment. Edit. 


9, &c.* These are determinations (hat establish the com- 
position I have been giving. Upon thy commandment, 
or when thou sendest out orders, my peophj from the 
highest to the lowest shall kiss, receiving them with the 
profoundest respect and obedience. 

The Egyptian translators called the Septuagint seeni 
to have understood Prov. xxiw. 36, in much the same 
sense. Lips shall kiss those things that answer right 
words, shall kiss those writings by which a judge giveth, 
just decisions : and this seems to be a much better expla- 
nation of the passage, than any of the four which Pool has 
given us from the critics, in his Synopsis. The second, 
with which our version coincides, does not appear by any 
means to be just. The prefix Lamed should in that case 
have been joined to the word lips; not to repeat what I 
observed in the beginning of this article, that nothing can 
be more dissonant, not only from Eastern customs, but 
from decencies universally maintained, to suppose that it 
should be promised to a judge, as an honorable reward for 
the equity of his decisions, that every party that gained 
a cause should kiss his lips : no ! it should rather be, he 
shall kiss the hem of his garment, or even the earth at 
his feet. The word cnpit, every man desires to kiss, is 
indeed made use of in the Synopsis, perhaps to soften 
this impropriety ; but if so, it is used in vain, for an in- 
habitant of the East would feel no inclination to kiss the lips 
of a righteous judge. St. John, who found emotions of 
veneration, which were something like th^se these people 
are here supposed to feel, was not prompted in the least 
to kiss the angeVs lips ; the effect they produced in him 
was prostration at the angeVs feet. The fourth inter- 
pretation in the Synopsis, which is that of a Jewish rabbi, 
is one of the most childish conceits that can be easily imag- 
ined, namely, that the words of \vu\h tally with each other 
as lip with lip. The third, that a judge who pronounces a 
right decision does a thing as grateful as if every word 

* Vide Noldii Cone, ia part. ^^ al, 24. 


were a kiss? ; is, as apparently strained. And as to the 
first, it is by no means agreeable to the dignitied station of 
a judge, and of such an one Solomon appears to be speak- 
ing, that he that pronounces a just sentence shallbe ad- 
mitted, not merely to kiss the hand, but even the lips, 
that is, shall be admitted into the strictest friendship ; 
unless it be understood of the king for whom he judges, 
which would be as degrading to the prince as the other to 
the judge, so neither is it by any means conformable to 
the preceding words, which express the effects thai just 
or unjust judgment should ha\e on the people, ver. 'iS, 
These things also belong to the wise. It is not good to 
have respect to persons in judgment, ver. 24, He that 
saithunto the wicked thou art righteous, (hat is-, he that 
absolveth the guilty, him shall the people curse, nations 
shall abhor him, ver. 25, But to them that rebuke him, 
that severely reprimand him, shall be delight, and a good 
blessing shall come upon him. He tha-t giveth a right 
answer then in the next verse, the 2blh, is apparently the 
description of a judge, that pronounces right judgments 
on those causes that are brought before him to try ; and 
this kissing, agreeably to all that precedes, must refer to 
the people, the nation, not to the king for whom he judges. 
The Septuagint interpretation is much more agreealde 
therefore than any of the four I have recited ; Men shall 
kiss the righteous decrees of a just judge, according to the 
Eastern forms of expressing reverence. 

I do not however know whether a more unexceptionable 
interpretation still may not be proposed. The rescripts 
of authority are wont to be kissed whether they are be- 
lieved to be just or not, except in cases where persons as- 
sume something of independence; nay, the letters of peo- 
ple of figure are treated after this manner by persons over 
whom they have no authority, and who know not the con- 
tents of them, merely because they are letters of people 
of figure ;* it is possible therefore these words may rather 

* So la Roque, in Ins Syrian travels, tells us, that as he and his compan- 
ions drew near to Balbec, two Arab horsemen accosted ihemvery roughly; 
YOii, II. 34 


refer fo another Eastern custom, which d'Arvieux grves^ 
an account of in his description of the Arabs of Mount 
Caroiel, who, when they present any petition to their emir 
for a favour, offer their billets to him with their right hands, 
after hai\'in^ first kissed thepapers.'^ The Hebrew man- 
ner of expression is short, and proverbs have peculiar 
shortness: Every lip shall kiss, one makelh to return a 
right answer, that is, every one shall be ready to present 
the state of his case, kissing it as he delivers it, when 
there is a judge whose decisions are celebrated for their 
being equilableof So another of these apophthegms of 
Solomon is delivered with something of the like turn of 
expression, A crorvn of glory the hoary head, in the way 
of righteousness it shall he found : that is, the hoary 
head is a crown of glory, when it is found in the way of 



Theit that are more intimately acquainted, or of equal 
age and dignity, says Dr. Shaw,J mutually kiss the hand, 
the head, or shoulder of each other. 

It is a rule with me not to repeat any of this learned 
author's observations on Scripture, as I suppose ray cu- 
rious readers acquainted with his book ; but as he has 
not applied this observation to any passage in the Bible, 

but on being told tliey had a letter for the Sheik of Balbec, which had 
been given them, by a Maronite feheik, with both of wliich Sheiks these 
Arabs had a good understanding, they, after having looked at the letter, 
lifted it to their heads, and kissing it, civilly dismissed them. Tome i. p. 
94, 95. 

* Voy. dans la Pal. page 155. 

■\ This is no proper translation of the original CDTlSty CDTlDJ tD"")3T 
a'tyO piff'' sefatayim yissak mesheeb debareem necocheem. "He shall kiss 
the lips of him who returneth right words." This I am afraid will not fa- 
vour Mr. Harmer's interpretation. Edit. 

+ Page 2.37. 


it cannot be amiss to remark, that (hose passages there^ 
which speak of falling on the neck and kissing a person, 
seem to have a reference to this Eastern way of kissing the 
ghoulder in an embrace."^' 



Dr. Shaw takes no notice of their taking hold of (he 
beard in order to kiss, but Thevenot does,t saying, that 
among the Turks it is a great affront to take one by the 
beard, unless it be to kiss him, in which case they often 
do it. 

Whether he means by kissing him, kissing his beard, 
or not, I do not know ; but Joab's taking Amasa by the 
beard to kiss him, 2 Sam. xx. 9, seems to be designed to 
express his taking his beard to kiss it ; at least this is 
agreeable to the customs of those that now live in that 
country: for d'Arvieux, J describing the assembling to- 
gether of several of the petty Arab princes at an enter- 
tainment, tells us^ that " x\ll the emirs came just together 
a little time after, accompanied by their friends and at- 
tendants, and after the usual civilities, caresses, kissings 
of the beard, and of the hand, which every one gave and 
received according to his hand and dignity, they sat down 
upon mats." 

He elsewhere(| speaks of the women's kissing their hus- 
band's beards,§ and children those of their fathers, and 

* Gen. xxxiii. 4, chap. xlv. 14, 11, Acts xx. 17, Luke xv. 20. 
t Part i. page 30. t \oy. dans la Pal. par la Roque, page 71. 

II Page 144, 148. 

§ The wives in that country are held in such sabmisaion, that it is rea- 
sonable to think their caresses are mingled -with more humiliating marks 
of respect than kissing the beard : the Psalmist seems to suppose so, when 
he says, Ps. xlv. 11, So shall the king' greatly desire thy beauty .- for he is 
thy lord, and luorship thou him. On which the manuscript I have so often 
quoted observes, that this alludes to the great respect and submission of 
women toward their husbands in these countries. 


friends reciprocally saluting one another in this manner ^ 
but (he doing it by their emirs more exactly answers this 
history of Joab and Amasa, and in this stooping posture 
he could much better see to direct the blow, than if he 
had only held his beard, and raised himself to kiss his face. 



The indignity, on the other hand, offered to David's 
ambassadors by Hanun, might perhaps be better illus- 
trated by what the sa i e author tells us of the present 
usages of (he inhabitants of this country, than by those 
examples that Bishop Patrick has brought from more dis- 
tant nations, and in particular from the Indians, and the 

It is a greater mark of infamy, he assures us, among 
the Arabs that he visited, to cut off any one's beard, than 
whipping and branding with the flower de luce among the 
French. =^ Many people in that country, he tells us, 
would prefer death to this kind of punishment. 

And as they would think it a grievous punishment io 
lose it, so they carry things so far, to beg for the sake of 
it : " by your beard, by the life of your beard do." Iti 
like manner some of their benedictions are, " God pre- 
serve your blessed beard : God pour his blessings on your 
beard." And when they would express their value for 
any thing, they say, "It is worth more than his beard."f 

* Mos enim est Oilcntalibus, tarn Grsecis quam aliis nationibus, barbas 
lota cura ^ omni sniiciliidine nutrire ; pro summoqiie probo & majori quse 
unquani iirogari possit i.c;iiomia leputare, si vel iinus piliis quocunque sibi 
(le casu barba cum injuria fletrahatur, says AVilliam of Tyre, an Eastern 
aicbbishop, Gesta Dei. page 803. 

fCh 7. 

Tlie Mohammedans have a very great respect for their beards, and think 
it criminal to shave : conversing one day with a Turk, who was playing with 
his beard, I asked him. *' Why do you not cut offyour beard as Me, Euro- 
peans, do ?" To which he replied, w ith great emotion, *' Cut off my beard ' 
■Why should 1 ? God forbid !" En it. 


I never had so clear an apprehension, I must confess, 
as I bad after I read these accounts, of (he intended en- 
ergy of thai thought of Ezekiel, where the inhabitants of 
Jeriisalem are compared to (he hair of the Prophet's head 
and beard.* That p issage seems to signify, that though 
the inhabitants of Jeriisaletn had been dear to God as the 
hair of an Eastern beard to its, yet that they should 
be taken away and consumed, one part by pestilence and 
fan)ine, ariother part by the sword, and the third by the 
calamities of an t;xi!e. 

Niebuhrf has given us an account of a modern Arab 
prince's treating a Persian envoy, in the same manner as 
Hanun treated the beards of David's ambassadors, which 
brought a powerful Persfan army upon him, in 1765; but 
it seems, he was a very brutal prince, and bore a most de* 
testable character. 



Our Lord reproaches the Pharisee who invited him 
to eat bread, Luke vii. that he had given him no kiss, 
whereas the person he had been censuring in his heart 
had not ceased kissing his feet from her entrance into the 
house. It is visible, by the contrast our Lord here sup- 
poses, between the woman's kisses and the compliment 
he had reason to expect from the Pharisee, that he did 
not look for his kissing his feet, but for some other salu- 
tation : but what,? not the kisses of equality most certain- 
ly, but rather that kissing the hand, which marks out 
reverence, J the reverence that is customarily paid in the 

* Ezek. V. -j- Page 275. 

4: This may be thought not very well to agree with a preceding Observa- 
tion, ill which kissitig the hand is supposed to be a compliment that passes 
between equals : but it is lo be remembered, there these kisses were suppos- 
ed to be mutually given, and such an exchange marks out equality; here 
the person reverenced is described us receiving a kiss on his hand, but not 
as returning it. This is a considerable difference. 


East to those of a sacred character, and which, contrary 
to (he rules of decorum, he had omitted. 

So Norden tells us,^' that a Copti priest, whom they 
carried in their bark from the neighbourhood of Cairo a 
considerable way up the Nile, carried it pretty hi^h, inso- 
much that he dared to tell them, more than once, that he 
could not take them for Christians, since not one of their 
company had offered to kiss his hands: whereas the 
Copti ran every day in crowds round him, to show their 
respect by such marks of submission. 

And at Saphet in Galilee, where the Jews have a sort 
of university, Dr. Pococke saw the inferior rabbies com- 
plimenting the chief on the day of Pentecost, who was 
very decently habited in white satin, by coming with 
great reverence and kissing his hand.f 



The alighting of those that ride is considered in the 
East as an expression of deep respect; so Dr. Pococke 
tells us, that they are wont to descend from their asses in 
E«;ypt, when they come near some tombs there, and that 
Christians and Jews are obliged to submit to this. J 

So Hasselquist tells Linnreus, in one of his letters to 
him, that Christians were obliged to alight from their 
asses in Egypt, when they met with commanders of the 
soldiers there. || This he complains of as a bitter indignity ; 
but they that received the compliment, without doubt, 
required it as a most pleasing piece of respect. 

Achsah's and Abigail's alighting,§ were without doubt 
then intended as expressions of reverence : but is it to be 
imagined, that Naaman's ali2;hting from his chariot,^ when 
Gehazi ran after him, arose from the same principle ? If 

* Part ii. page 35, 36. f Vol. ii. page 76. ^ Vol. i. page 35. 

II Page 425. § Jud. i. 14, 1 Sam. xxv. 23. ^ 2 Kings v. 21. 


it did, there was a mighty change in this haughty Syrian 
after bis cure. 

That he should pay such a reverence to a servant of 
the Prophet must appear very surprising, yet we can 
hardly think the historian would have mentioned this cir- 
cumstance so very distinctly in any other view. 

Rebecca's alighting from the camel on which she rode, 
when Isaac came to meet her, is by no means any proof 
that the considering this as an expression of reverence, is a 
modern thing in the East ; it, on the contrary, strongly 
reminds one of d'Arvieux's account, of a bride's throwing 
herself at the feet of the bridegroom when solemnly pre- 
sented to him, which obtains among the Arabs. ^ 



It is undoubtedly true, that the alighting from a 
beast on which one is riding, is, and was anciently, a mark 
of great respect. The case however of Achsah I believe 
is to be differently understood. Of these matters some 
account ought here to be given. 

We met a Turk, says Dr. Richard Chandler in his 
Asiatic Travelsjf " a person of distinction, as appeared 
from his turban. He was on horseback with a single at- 
tendant. Our janizary and Armenians respectfully alight- 
ed, and made him a profound obeisance, the former kis- 
sing the rim of his garment." 

So Niebuhr tells us, that at Kahira, Grand Cairo, " the 
Jews and Christians who, it may be, alighted at first 
through fear or respect, when a Mohammedan with a 
great train on horseback met them, are now obliged to 
pay this compliment to above thirty of the principal peo- 
ple of that city. When these appear in public, they 
always cause a domestic to go before to give notice to the 

* Voy.dansla Pal. page 225, ' t Page 2«>. 


Jews and Greeks, and even the Etjropeans that tbey 
meet with, to gel off their asses as soon as possible, and 
thej are qualifitd on occasion lo force them with a great 
club, which they always carry in their hands."* 

The fact is certain, but, probably, is not applicable to 
the case of Achsah. Our translators suppose that like 
Abigail she alisihled from her ass, when she preferred her 
request to Caleb her father, begc^ing for the addition of 
some springs of water to her portion ; but it is quite a dif- 
ferent word, never used but in reciting her story, except- 
ing once in the book of Judges, where it is used to ex- 
press Jael*s fastening one of the pins of her tent in the 
ground, after having driven it through Sisera's temples. j 
The word then seems to signify her continuing upon the 
ass standing still, as if fastened to the ground. This 
would naturally occasion Caleb to inquire into the reason 
of this stop in the marriage procession, and brought on an 
explanation, which terminated in her obtaining what she 

Both the Septuagint and the Vulgar Latin suppose she 
continued sitting on her ass, the first suppose she cried 
to her father for this favour ;J the second that she sighed ;[| 
but the original mentions neither, nor do either appear 
necessary. The mere stopping in so solemn a cavalcade 
as this, which seems to have been the conveying her 
with pomp to Othniel's house, as his bride, must have 
been sufficient to occasion the inquiry. 

• Description de I'Arabie, page 39. 

f The original word is nJV tsanach, and is found Jos. xv. tS, and iv, fit. 
Buxtorff translates it by inji^i desilire, to be iitfixed or dtuck in, to leap 
off In the case of Achsah Jud. i. 14, Montanus renders ■^Tjnn '^J'D nJ^HI 
vattitsnach meal acharaor: Et dejixit se desvper usino. And she unfasten- 
ed herself from her ass. The particle 7J^^ meal, sufficientl} shows, she 
got off or alighted. Edit. 

% "E^oniTfv 3» T» Oyocr. jl Cum siispirasset sedens in asino. 




After the ceremonies of reception, it is natural to con= 
sider those postures of longer continuance by which state 
or inferiority are expressed, for neither the one nor the 
other are forgotten through the whole visit in the East. 

Dr. Pococke, in his first volume,^ has given us the fig- 
ure of a person half sitting and half kneeling, that is, kneel- 
ing so as to rest the most muscular part of his body on 
his heels : this he observesf is the manner in which infe- 
rior persons sit at this day before great men; and that it 
is considered as a very humble posture. Agreeably to 
this he informs us, in his second volume, J that the atten- 
dants of the English consul, when he waited on the Caia 
of the Pasha of Tripoli, sat in this manner, resting behind 
on their hams. Mr. Drummond gives a similar account. |i 

In this manner, I suppose, it was that David sat before 
the Lord, when he went into the sanctuary to bless him 
for his promise concerning his family. Abarbanel, and 
some Christian expositors, § seem to be perplexed about 
the word sitting before the Lord : but sitting, after this 
manner, was expressive of the greatest humiliation, and 
therefore no improper posture for one that appeared be- 
fore the ark of God. 

Dr. Delaney, in his Life of king David, has given us 
this thought; I therefore only cite these passages of 
Bishop Pococke further to illustrate, and confirm it. 



Sitting on a cushion, is, on the contrary, an expres- 
sion of honor, and the preparing a seat for a person of dis- 

* Page 213. •}- Vol. i. page 213, vol. ii, page 102. 

i Page 102. (I Page 190. § See Putrick on 1 Sam. yii. 28. 

VOL. II. .35 


linclion seems to mean, laving things of this kind, on a 
place where such an one is to sit. 

" It is the custom of Asia, Sir J. Chardin informs us in 
his MS. for persons in common not to go into the shops 
of that country, which are mostly small, but there are 
wooden seats, on the outside, where people sit down, and 
if it happens to be a man of quality, they lay a cushion 
there." He also informs us, " that people of quality 
cause carpets and cushions to be carried every where, 
that they like, in order to repose themselves upon them 
more agreeably," 

When Job speaks of his preparing his seat, ch. xxix. 
7, it is extremely natural to understand him of his sending 
his servants, to lay a cushion and a carpet on one of the 
public seats there, or something of that sort, as Sir John 
supposes ; but I do not imagine a seat in the street, means 
a seat by a shop. Job is speaking evidently of his silting 
there as a ruler among his people. 

Eli's seat by the way side,^ was a seat adorned, we 
may believe, after the same manner. He did not sit in a 
manner unbecoming so dignified a personage. 



Sitting in the corner is, more particularly, a stately 
attitude, and expressive of superiority. 

So Dr. Pococke tells us in the last cited place, that at 
that visit which the English consul made to the Pasha of 
Tripoli, the Pasha having on the garment of ceremony, 
gave the welcome as he passed, and sat down crossleg- 
ged in the corner to the right, having a cushion on each 
side, and one over them, behind him. In like manner he 
tells ui in his first volume, that when he was introduced 

* 1 Sam, iv. U, 


to the Sheik of Furshout, he found him sitting in the cor- 
Eer of his room by a pan of coals. *He descritjes there, 
another Arab Sheik as sitting in the corner of a large 
green tent, pitched in the middle of an encampment of 
Arabs; and the Bey of Girge as placed on a sofa in the 
corner, to the right as one entered, of his tent.f 

This is enough to satisfy us that the place of honor 
among them is the corner^ had we not been expressly (old 
so by other travellers, J and had not Pococke elsewhere 
told us that it is the position in which great men usually 
place Other authors have mentioned this 
circumstance in general; and it has been so universal, 
that lord Whitworth assures us, that among the Russians, 
who lately had many Eastern customs among them, they 
were wont to place the picture of their guardian saint in 
the corner of their rooms. 

May not this circumstance serve to explain a passage 
which has greatly embarrassed commenlators ? As the 
shepherd iaketh out of the mouth of the lion two legs or 
apiece of an ear ; so shall the children of Israel be token 
out that dwell in Samaria, in the corner of a bed* and in 
Damascus in a couch-^ The various remarks of critics 
on this circumstance of dwelling in Samaria in Ihe corner 
of a bed, collected by Pool in his synopsis, only serve to 
show, that none of the authors he consulted could divine 
what was meant by it ; but the observing, that the most 
honorable place of their divans is the corner, gives this 
easy comment on this part of the verse, that just as a 
shepherd is oftentimes able to save, from the jaws of a de- 
vouring lion, no more than some small piece of the sheep 
that beast had carried off, so an adversary round about 
the land of Israel, should spoil its palaces, and scarcely 
any part of it should be recovered, out of that adv ersary's 
hand, more than the city that sits among the cities of Is» 

* Page 85. -j- Vol. i. page 90, and page IS-l- 

^ Hanway, vol. iii, page 145, Note; and Russell, if I remember right 

^1 Vol. i. page 179, § Amos iii. it 


rael as in the corner of a bed, in the most honorable place ; 
that is, as Samaria undoubtedly did, being looked upon as 
the rojal citj^. 

But to engage the acquiescence of the mind more per- 
fectly in this explanation, it will be requisite to show, that 
the Hebrew word nOD mittahy which is here translated 
hedy may be understood of a divan, which is described by 
Dr. Russell, as "a part of a room raised above the floor, 
spread with a carpet in winter, in summer with fine mats; 
along the sides, he says, are thick mattresses about three 
feet wide, covered commonly wilh scarlet cloth, and large 
bolsters of brocade, hard stuffed with cotton, are set 
against the walls, or rails, when so situated as not to touch 
the wall, for the conveniency of leaning. As they use no 
chairs, it is upon these they sit, and all their rooms are so 
furnished.'*^ This description is perfectly conformable 
lo those of other authors, who agree that on these they 
take their repasts, that on these they sleep, and that they 
are very capacious. The word mittah sometimes, it is 
certain, signifies a small floored moveable elevation : it 
does so, 2 Sam. iii. 31, where we translate it bier ; but 
nothing makes it necessary to suppose it always signifies 
such a small moveable thing, it may, for any thing that ap- 
pears to the contrary, signify the same sort of conveniency 
that is called at Aleppo a divan. They are now used with 
great universality through the East, and we know the peo- 
ple of those countries are very tenacious of old customs, 
this therefore, probably is an ancient one. On the mittah 
they used to sit to eat, as well as to sleep, as we learn 
from 1 Sam, xxviii. 23, Amos vi. 4, Esth. i. 6, and ch. 
vii. 8, and the last place shows, that the ancient Eastern 
mittah was much larger than the beds the old Greeks and 
Romans used in their repasts, since Haman went up, and 
prostrated himself before queen Esther, on the mittah 
where she was sitting, which it cannot be imagined he 
would have thought of doing, had the old Eastern mittah 

* Russell, vol. i. i>age 27 — 30. 


been like a Greek or Roman bed ; he would ratber have 
kneeled on the floor, or prostrated himself upon it, and 
kissed the hem of her robe, which he could not do seated 
as she was near the corner of a large Eastern miitali, with- 
out going up upon it, which accordingly' he did, in order 
to beg for his life. So Dr. Pococke tells us,^ that not 
only the English consul went up the sofa, when he went 
to make a visit to the Caia of the Pasha of Tripoli, but 
that those that attended the consul went up the sofa too, 
which is the same thing with what is called a divan at 
Aleppo, though (hey placed themselves there in the hum- 
ble posture of kneeling so as to rest on their hams.f 

The stately bed on which Aholibah is represented as 
sitting, Ezek. xxiii. 41, seems to mean the floor of an Idol 
temple: for on the floors of such places, it appears by 
another Prophet,J they used to lie down on clothes, or 
carpets ; and the going up to them by stepF|| made them 
very much resemble the ancient Eastern mittahs. 

These observations may be suflScient to give us the 
meaning of the Prophet in general, when he speaks of Is- 
rael as dwelling in Samaria, in the corner of a bed ; and 
perhaps the explanation of this first clause may serve to 
lead us into the sense of the other, which our translators 
have rendered, " in Damascus in a couch," in the body 
of their version, and in the margin, on the bed's iteX, I 
cannot suppose the word in the original is to be considered 

* Vol. ii. page 102. 

t La Roque's description of the saloon in which he dined with the Sheik 
of Balbec, may iUustrate this part of the story of Ilaman. This saloon he 
tells us, had a sofa covered with a Persian carpet, and had great cushions 
of crinason velvet, adorned with gold fringe and lace : and another sofa op- 
posite to it, differently ornamented, on which^ says he, we eat, seated on car- 
pets, after the manner of the Eastern people. Vov de Sjrie, kc. page 
101. Here were two divans in the same apartment ; afd in like manner, I 
presume, there were two where Esther made her banquet of wine, on one 
of which the queen sat, while Haman was on the other, from whence he 
arose, and going up the queen's mittak, threAv himself at her feet. 

i Amos ii. 8. |) Shav, page 209. 


as a proper name, and to be translated Damascus, be- 
cause Israel did not, that I know of, dwell in auy numbers 
at Damascus, though there was a verj good understanding 
between Mie two kingdoms of Samaria and Damascus in 
those times, to which the prophecy refers, as may be seen, 
Is. vii. 2. Nor can I by any means admit the marginal 
translation, the bed^sfeet, which one «ould imagine must 
signify the very reverse of the preceding sentence, and 
mark out the lowest place. 

Pagnin supposes the words are to be translated, "and 
in the corner of a couch," and so it would be a sort of 
repetition of the preceding thought in other terms; but 
there may be objections lo this interpretalion. In the 
mean while it appears most natural to me, upon a collation 
of the passages where the word iy"i;? dres occurs, not to un- 
derstand it as signifying the diminutive of a mittah, a 
couch ; but the furniture of an Eastern divan : and so 
■where these two words are joined together, they are not 
to be considered as an Oriental repetition, but as an agree- 
able diversification of the thought. So Psalm vi. 6, Jam 
weary with my groaning , all the night I make my bed to 
srvim, the divan on which I am placed : I water my conchy 
or the divan furniture, with my tears. 

Mattresses, or something of that kind, must have been 
used without doubt for sleeping on in those times ; and it 
appears from Amos ii. 8, that the Israelites used carpets, 
or something of that sort in their feasts, as the Eastern 
people do now.* This furniture I presume, is to be un- 

* Both seem to be referred to Acts ix. 34, Peter said unto him, EneaSf 
Jesus Christ maketh thee -whole .• arise, and make thy bed, or rather, arise 
and prepare for thyself, etva^nQt, kai a-r^axrov o-ictvrd), for the reception of 
company at thy Iiouse. The -words cannot well be understood to mean 
make thy bed: was the mercy granted Eneas so imperfect, as that he could 
only arise and make his bed, and immediately take to it again ? If he re- 
covered lasting health, why was he directed to prepare his bed for lying 
down again ? The Eastern people now do not keep their beds made ; the 
raattresscs, &c are rolled up, carried away, and placed in cupboards till 
they are wanted at night. The translation of our text by no means agrees 
Y-ith modern Ojiental usages, unless we suppose the mercy was only mo» 


tiersfood by the term ares, which we translate couch. 
Perhaps Deut. iii. 11, where an ares, is said to be of iron, 
may be thought to overthrow this ; but it does not appear 
to me to do so by any means, the using furniture for a 
mittah full of small pieces of iron like a coat of mail, may 
surely impress the mind with as strong an idea of the mar- 
tial roughness of that gigantic prince, as the having a 
bedstead made of iron instead of wood, or ivory, or of sil- 

If this sense of the word ares be admitted, this clause 
to answer the preceding, must signify in general the rich- 
est furniture of a divan, appropriated to persons of the 
greatest distinction. 

Nor will there be any great difficulty in the term that 
is made use of, if we suppose the word Damascus may 
mean, something made at Damascus, and that that city 
anciently gave its name to some of its works, as it has cer- 

raentary ; a thought by no means admissible. On the other hand, the 
Jews of the apostolic age seem to have prepared their rooms, for the re- 
ception of guests, by spreading them with mats, carpets, or something of 
that kind : the words used by the Evangelists, to express the making ready 
an upper chamber, for the reception of people to eat the Passover, Mark 
xiv. 15, and Luke xxii. 12, is the same with that addressed to Eneas, a 
large upper chamber spread and prepared, avmyiav {jnytt gg-ga^svov. 
They also that received mercies sometimes entertained the Prophets that 
had healed them, and their attendants ; so a feast xvas made at Bethani 
tohere Lazarus ~vas, who had been dead, /or Jesus and his Disciples, 
John xli. 1, 2. Sometimes they were invited to cat bread where some of 
the family wei-e ill, and the sick being healed, did, in some cases, afterward 
minister to them : such were the circumstances attending the healing of 
Peter's wife's mother, Mark i 29 — 31. Something like this was the case, I 
apprehend, at Lydda. Peter and those with him were invited to eat bread 
at the house of Eneas. Jirise, said the Apostle to him upon his enter!:)'*- 
into the house, spread thy hause thyself for the reception of tlm guests 
and in that view the words are as noble, as, when people were brought from, 
home in a bed, the saying to them Jlrise, take up thy bed, and go unto 
thine house. In which address the comparative lightness and moveableness 
of Eastern beds are pointed out, which, as Sir J. Chardin tells us in his MS. 
note on Matt. ix. 6, have only a quilt to lay over them, and anotlier under 
them. Dr. Russell's account, vol. i, p. 144, differs very little. Their beds 
consist of a mattress laid on the floor, and over this a sheet ; in winter a car- 
pet, or some such woollen covt-ring, the other sheet being seiireil to th^ 
quilt. A divau cushion often serves for a pillow and bolster. 


tainly done in later times, some of our richest silks being 
from thence called damasks. That the word may signify 
some costly works made at Damascus, the learned Cas- 
lelio supposes, and Gen. xv. 2, suflSciently proves, where 
the steward of Abraham's house is said to be this Damas- 
cus Eliezer, that is, this man of Damascus, Eliezer; if it 
may signify, a man of Damascus, it may equally well 
signify a manufacture of Damascus.* It is certain 
that the Prophet Ezekiel, who lived not very long af- 
ter the time of Amos, represents Damascus as a place of 
trade, and in particular as trafficking in wine, and what 
we translate white wool, Ezek. xxvii. 18, but which may 
equally well be understood to mean woollen fit for the use 
of nobles. For the word "iDi* tsemar, here translated wool 
appears to be used Ezek. xliv. 17, for wool wrought up, 
or woollen cloth : and the word nnv tsachar, which is 
translated white, is used but once more in the Old Testa- 
ment, and that is Judges v. 10, Speak ye that ride on 
rvhite asses, ye that sit iii judgment, Src, where every one 
sees^that the riding on white asses is a description of no- 
bles and princes. These asses are not, I presume, called 
white on account of their natural colour, but rather from 
their caparisons, according to the custom which continues 
among the Arabs to this day,f who use saddles of wood 
in riding, and have always, as a part of their riding furni- 
ture, a cloth which they call the hiran, about six ells 
long, which they fold up and put upon the wooden saddle, 
in order to sit with greater ease ; and which they use when 
they bait, as a sort of mattress to repose themselves upon. 
The result of the whole is, that Amos is to be under- 
stood as saying, as a shepherd saves a small portion of a 

* Hence from Damietta comes our ^vord dimity^ and from Worsted in 
Norfolk, the yarn and cloth so called. Edit. 

t Voy. dans la Pal. page 127. Dandini, on the contrary, affirms, that the 
Eastern people ride their horses without bridle or saddle, stirrup, or 
spurs ; a halter suffices them, with a little clout spread upon the back of 
the beast, ch. v. Perhaps the saddling beasts for riding, mentioned in many 
places in the sacred writers, may sometimes mean nothmg more than the 
placing the hiran on their backs. 


sheep, or a goat, out of Ihe jaws of a lion, so, though the 
rest of the country shall be miserably destroyed, they 
shall escape that sit, or dwell, in Samaria in the corner 
of the divan, on the damask mattress ; the royal and most 
beautified that is of all the cities of Israel. 

There is another passage which may be illustrated by 
the same custom, Neh. ix. 22, Moreover thou gcivest them 
kingdoms and nalioiis, and didst divide them into cor" 
ners. Upon which verse Bishop Patrick gives us this 
note, " Some translate the last words, thou didst divide 
them by angles, that is, he parted those kingdoms among 
them as by a line." But others understand it of the peo- 
ple dispossessed by the Jews, whom he drove into cor- 
ners. " I believe most people will be disposed to think 
(he first thought the Bishop gives us somewhat forced ; 
nor will the second appear very natural to those that read 
the original, where the word is in the singular, thou didst 
divide them to the corner, that is according to the expla- 
nation I have been giving of that place in Amos, thou 
didst give Sihon and Og into their hands, and the vari- 
ous tribes of the Canaanites ; and not only so, but didst 
give the pre-eminence to Israel, and make them chief 
among the nations round about them,^ It may not per- 
haps be disagreeable to add, that the word pbn chilukf 
there translated divide, is used to express l)a\id's ap- 
pointing the sons of Aaron to their different charges, 
though a different English word is used in our version. 



At the close of a visit in these countries, it is common 
to sprinkle rosewater, or some other sweetscented water, 
on the guests, and to perfume them with aloes wood, which 

* I Chron, xxlv. 3. 

yoL. II. 36 


is brought lasf, and serves as a sign that it is time for a 
stranger to take his leave. 

Great niioibers of authors take notice of this part of 
Laslern complaisance, but some are much more particu- 
lar and distinct than others. Maundrell, for instance, who 
gives a most entertaining account'"- of the ceremony of 
burning odors under the chin, does not mention any 
thing of the sprinkling sweet scented waters; however 
many other writers do, and Dr. Pococke has given us the 
figure of the vessel they make use of upon this occasion, 
in his first volume. f They are both then used in the 
East, but if one is spoken of more than the other, it is, I 
think, the perfuming persons with odoriferous smoke. 

The Scriptures in like manner speak of perfumes as 
used anciently for civil purposes, as well as sacred, though 
they do not mention particulars. Ointment and perfumes 
rejoice the hearty Prov. xxvii. 9, Perhaps this word per- 
fume comprehends in its meaning the waters distilled from 
roses, and odoriferous flowers, whose scents in the East, 
at least in Egj^pt, if Maillet may be admitted to be a 
judge, J are much higher and more exquisitely grateful, 
than with us; but if those distillations should be thought 
not to have been known so early, the burning fragrant 
things, and the making a sweet smoke with them, we are 
sure, they were acquainted with,[| and to that way 
of perfuming Solomon at least refers. § But a passage in 
Daniel makes it requisite to enter more minutely into this 
aflair, and as at the same time it mentions some other 
Eastern forms of doing honor, which I have already taken 
notice of, but to all which in this case objections have 
been made, I will make my remarks upon it in a distinct 

* Page 30, 31. f Plate 17, R. t Lett. ix. page 14. 

[) See Exodus xxx. 35, 38. 

§ Sii* J. Chardin tells us in one of the notes of his MS. that it is the cotft- 
mon custom of the East, to have censers at their feasts, and perfumes are 
much more common there than in Europe. Tlie ashes or embers of per- 
fume, mentioned Toljit vi. 16, and ch. viii. 2, evidently refer to this custom, 
on which passage Sir John has not made any remark. 


article, which I will place immediately after this, and 
show how easy that little collection of Oriental compli- 
ments may be accounted for, as well as explain more at 
large this particular affair of burning odors merely as a 
civil expression of respect. 


II. 46. 

The passage in Daniel I referred to, which may be ex- 
plained by this Eastern custom, is this, Then the king 
Nebuchadnezzar fell uponhis face, and worshipped Dan- 
iel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation, 
and sweet odors unto him, Chap. ii. 46. 

St. Jeroin tells us, that Porphyry objected to this ac- 
count of Nebuchadnezzar's prostration before the^roph- 
et :^ he could not comprehend how it could be true, that 
an haughly king should adore a captive : and he reproach- 
ed Duiiel for accepting his oblation and his honors. 

This father supposed that the oblation signified a sac- 
rifice, and the sweet odors incense; but I cannot say 
that he appears to have had his mind embarrassed with 
this passage, so much as with the proposal made by the 
servant of Saul to his master, when he thought of con- 
sulting the Prophet Samuel. I wish I could say however 
he had explained it so as to be less embarrassing to others • 
it will be thought, I imagine, by most, a difficult passage, 
at least, and that notwithstanding his comment, in which 
Jerom supposes, that Nebuchadnezzar's acknowledgment 
that the God of Daniel was a God of gods, and a revealer 
of secrets, was a proof that he offered these sacrifices, 
and this incense, not so much unto Daniel as unto God 
in Daniel, after which, calling Porphyry a calumniator, he 
dismisses the subject, having first, though happily enough^ 

* In Dan. cap. 2. 


remarked wi(h respect to the prostration, that Alexander 
the Great did the same to the Jewish highpriest. 

Later commentators are not much more satisfying in 
their comments than this celebrated ancient. The note 
of Grotiiis on the latter part of the verse being this, "In 
the Hebrew it is, he commanded a viiiicha to be offered 
him, that is, a cake of flour, and odors. He commanded 
it, but Daniel did not suffer it to be done : for universal 
custom had set apart these honors to God, or to those 
who were accounted gods. So Jacchiades, and other 
rabbies comment on the place." And according to this 
interpretation this passage is generally understood. 

But there is no necessity, I apprehend, of supposing 
this an idolalrous command. We do not find Daniel re- 
jecting these honors, as Paul and Barnabas did those of 
the inhabitants of Ljstra. To say that he did, though it 
is not mentioned, is a very licentious way of explaining 
Scripture. Mr. Maundrell has not applied his observa- 
tions on the modern Eastern compliments to this text, 
as he did to that concerning the servant of Saul ; but they 
are, 1 imagine, as applicable as to the other; and the 
whole of what Nebuchadnezzar commanded- might very 
possibly be of a civil nature, and no ways improper to be 
addressed to the Prophet. The making this out is whal 
I would here attempt. 

Notwithstanding universal custom had set apart these 
honors to God, or those ihat were accounted gods, accord- 
ing to Grotius, he himself allows the prostration might 
not be idolatrous; and says, so great a Prophet was not 
unworthy this honor, citing the example of that captain 
that Ahaziah sent the third time to take Elijah. And in- 
deed we have already seen, that nothing is more common 
than this sort of compliment in those countries, and that 
without any intention of idolatry, or suspicion of such in- 
tention. It is true, princes in common received from 
Prophets this token of respect, rather than paid it to 
them ; nevertheless, in some extraordinary conjunctures, 
3nd this was such a one, the reverse may well be suppos- 


ed to have happened. Thus sacred history informs us, 
Saul sfooped down with his face lo the ground, and bow- 
ed himself when Samnel appeared, 1 Sam. xxviii. 14; 
and Josephus tells ns, that Alexander of Macedonia, a 
heathen prince, as Nebuchadnezzar was, and as haughty 
as he, adored the Jewish highpriest that came to meet 
him, nol as a god, but as a highpriest of God. Jeroni 
menlions this action of Alexander's, and so far, I think, 
has sufficiently disembarrassed himself from the reproaches 
of Porphyry. 

As to the second particular, though our translators have 
made use of the term oblation, yet the original word nn^D 
minchah, signifies not only a cake of flour oflfered unto 
God, but often a present, and that of very diflferent 
things, made to mortal men. It is used for the presents 
in particular made by Jacob to Esau, Gen. xxxii. 13, &c. 
by his sons to Joseph, Gen. xliii. 11 ; by Ehud to Eglon* 
Judg. iii. 15, &c. It is used in like manner to signify 
the presents made to the Prophets of God, where there 
never has been, nor can be, the least jealousy in the 
world of any idolatrous design, though made by heathen 
kings, such as Nebuchadnezzar was ; so it expresses the 
present made by the king of Syria to Elisha, 2 Kings viii, 
9. It is by no means necessary therefore to understand 
the present of Nebuchadnezzar of an idolatrous oblation, 
or of any thing more than such a gift, as it was becoming a 
Prophet to receive. 

It may, perhaps, be thought an objection to this, that 
these presents were wont to be made to the Prophets be- 
fore the exercise of their office : so was that to have been 
which Saul intended for Samuel, 1 Sam. ix. 7, &c. such 
was Jeroboam's to Ahijah, 1 Kings xiv. 2, 3 ; and the 
king of Syria's to Elisha, which I this moment mentioned. 
But this will be no difficulty, when it is observed, that a 
difference is to be made between going to consult aProph 
et, and his coming to declare some future event : in thin 
last case presents were made after the exercise of the 
prophetic gift. So when the man of God came out of 


Judah, <o cry against the allar at Bethel, after he had de- 
nounced the judgments of God, The king said, unio the 
man o/'God, co^ne home with me, and reftesh thyself, and 
I will give thee a reward, I Kings xiii. 7, so after Jeru- 
salem was taken, the captain of Ihe guard gave to Jere- 
miah victuals and a reward, Jer. xl. 5. Now it is visible 
the case of Daniel much more resembles ihese, than the 
case of those to whom they applied to learn future events. 
Arioch brought in Daniel before the king in haste, and 
said thus unto him, I have found a man of the captives of 
Judah, that will make known unto the king ihe interpre- 
tation, Dan. ii. 25. 

But the third thing is apparently the great difficulty; 
the offering sweet odors unto the Prophet. This is sup- 
posed to be a thing appropriated to God, or those that 
were imagined to be gods. But why is this supposed? It 
is certain that odors were often made use of in the East 
merely for civil purposes, and without any idolatrous in- 
tention whatsoever. They are so still. 

And because something may very probably be learnt 
from their present customs of this sort, explanatory of this 
command of Nebuchadnezzar, let us, a little more dis- 
tinctly than we have hitherto done, consider the various 
ways in which they make use of perfumes, and also the 
several views thej^ have in making use of them. 

When Maillet^ was received by some of the chief offi- 
cers of Egypt, as consul of France, he was regaled with 
sweet odors in more ways than one, odoriferous waters 
being poured out on his hands, and perfumes put upon 
coals, and the smoke of them presented to him. This is 
the account he gives of his reception at Alexandria. 
"After the usual compliments, they brought me black 
water, and afterward white ; coffee that is, and sherbet, 
to which succeeded sweetmeats. They after that pre- 
sented me a basin, over which I washed my hands with 
odoriferous waters, which were poured upon me by an 

* Letter i. page 6. 


officer of the Aga. Lastly, they brought the perfume, 
and covered me with rich cloth, to make me the belter 
receive it." 

This last circumstance is expressed with so much brev- 
ity, that it is really obscure. Dr. Pococke, who attend- 
ed an English consul at Cairo, gives this account of a 
Turkish visit, in the beginning of his first volume,^ which 
may serve to explain Maillet's. According to him then, 
the entertainment at these visits consists of a pipe, sweet- 
meats, coffee, sherbet ; and at going away, rosewater,f 
which they sprinkle on the hands of the guest, with which 
Le rubs his face, after which incense is brought, which he 
receives leaning forward, and holding out his garment on 
each side to take the smoke. The rich cloth then that. 
Maillet speaks of was, it seems, some kind of veil used 
to prevent the too speedy dissipation of that delicious 

The Egyptians may be thought to be a people more 
luxurious than their neighbours : perfumes however are 
used in other places of the East, as we learn from Dr. 
Russell, whose account, as being more particular still, 
shall not be omitted. " Cotfee," he says, "made very 
strong, without either sugar or milk, is a refreshment in 

* Page 15. 

f Hasselquist tells us thnt the red roses of Egypt, \vhich ai-e common hi 
the gardens, at Rosetta and Damietta, are of no very strong scent for which 
reason the Avater distilled from them is of no great value at Cairo ; but he 
gives a very different account of (hat dra^vn from the •white, which are 
cultivated, he says, in considerable quantities in the province of Fayhu.m. 
The flowers afe, it seems, of a pale colour, not quite white, but rather in- 
clining to red ; they are double, being frequently of the size of a man's fist; 
and emit the most fragrant odor of any he had seen. From this sort, he 
says, an incredible quantity of water is distilled every day at Fayhum, and 
sold in Egypt, being exported even to othtr countries- An apothecary al 
Cairo bought yearly 15001b. (about 180 gallons,) which he caused to be 
brought to the city in copper vessels, lined with wax, selling it to great 
profit in Cairo. The Eastern people use the water in a luxurious manner, 
sprinkling it on the head, face, hands, and clothes of the guests they meari 
to honor, afterward perfuming them with frankincense, v,ood of aloes, &c. 
p. 248, &c. 


high esteem with every body ; and a dish of it, preceded 
by a little moist sweetmeat, commonly conserve of red 
roses, acidulated with lemon juice, and a pipe of tobacco, 
is the usual entertainment at a visit. If they have a mind 
to use less ceremony, the sweetmeat is omitted; and if 
they would show an extraordinary degree of respect, they 
add sherbet, some syrup, chiefly that of lemon, mixed 
with water, a sprinkling of rose or other sweetscented wat- 
er, and perfume with aloes wood, which is brought last, 
and serves as a sign that it is time for the stranger to take 
his leave."* 

Even the Arabs present a pipe, coffee, sweetmeats, 
and perfumes, when they are visited, according to the cu- 
rious editor of the Ruins of Balbec,f and d'Arvieux ;J who 
speak also of their pouring odoriferous waters on the 
face and hair, and who take particular notice of the wrap- 
ping up the head among them in a veil, on account oi the 

They make use too of odoriferous oils. So Hassel- 
quist tells us, that the Egyptians put the flowers of the 
tuberose into oil, and by this means give the oil a most 
excellent smell, scarcely inferior to oil of jasmine. || In 
another page,§ he mentions their laying flowers of jasmine, 
narcissus. Sec. in oil,^ and so making an odoriferous oint- 
ment, which those that love perfumes, apply to the head, 
uose and beard. This indeed seems to be the most an- 
cient way of using perfumes in a liquid form. We have 
no account in the Scriptures, at least no clear account, so 
far as I recollect, of the using odoriferous waters, but 

* Page 81. t P^S^ ^« i Voy. dans la Pal. page 251. 

II Page 288. § Page 267, 

^ThJs oil, lie tells us, is the oil of Belien, which emits no scent or smell 
at all, and therefore he supposes it very proper for preparing odoriferous 
ointments and balsams, and that it is on this account much used by the in- 
habitants of the East. All this is well enough ; but when he adds, that 
this undoubtedly was that Avith which Aaron was anointed, he appears to 
be extremely mistaken : the Scriptures directing the sacerdotal ointment 
to be made with oil of olives, Exod. xxx. 24 ; but this is not the only place- 
^vhere he shows himself to be a much better naturalist than divine. 


fragrant ointments are frequently referred to. AccorcL 
ingly it is supposed by the curious, that the disfillalion 
of these delicious waters is comparatively a modern inven- 
tion; but the mixing oil and odoriferous substances to- 
gether, we know, is as ancient as the days of Moses; and 
we find by Hasselquisf, continues to be made use of stilf, 
notwithstanding the introduction of distilled perfumes. 

Sweet odors then are at this day used in the Levant, 
in different countries, and among very different sorts of 
people, and Ihat both in a liquid form, and in that of smoke, 
and this without the least idolatrous design. 

Besides what appears in these citaiions, we find, by 
another passage of Dr. Pococke, that it is a mark of im- 
portance when persons are treated with perfumes by the 
great; for describing an English Consul's wailing on the 
Pasha of Tripoli, on the Pacha's return from a journey to 
meet the Mecca caravan, he says, " that sweetmeats, cof- 
fee, and sherbet, were brought to all, but the Consul 
alone was perfumed and incensed.'' Whereas, when the 
same company waited presently aOer on the Caia, or the 
chief minister of the Pasha, they were treated after the 
same manner, except that all were perfumed and incens- 
ed. So then, if the sweet odors that were presented to 
Daniel, were used with the same intention that these mod- 
ern odoriferous liquids and smoke are, it was dismissing 
the Prophet with great respect; and considering the 
quality of the person that ordered it, was an high honor 
done him, but of the civil kind, and without any thing 
like idolatry ; and perhaps was no more than vrhat the 
new dignity, to which Nebuchadnezzar had raised him, 
made proper. 

But if the burning and sprinkling perfumes we so com- 
mon in the East, as a mere civil compliment, how came 
this notion of the idolatrous nature of Nebuchadnezzar's 
command to be so universal ? How came Maundrell, who 
so happily explained the proposal of Saul's servant to his 
master, to take no notice of this remarkable circumstance? 


The last is only a proof, that the most ingenious tfavellers 
have taken little notice of the coincidence between the 
remaining original customs and passages of Scripture, ex- 
cept in xeiy striking cases. And as to the first, writers 
seem to be somelimes strangely disposed to think many 
innocent usages of antiquity idolatrous. This the writers, 
from whence the NolcE Variorum on Curtius are taken^ 
suppose the pomp with which Alexander the Great was 
received into that very city of Babylon, where Daniel now 
was, a few generations after, was idolatrous, and paid to 
him as a god, without sufficient reason. The pomp, as 
described by Curtius,^ consisted in strewing flowers and 
garlands in the way, burning frankincense and other odors 
on each side of the places through which he passed, mak- 
ing him royal presents, and singing, and playing upon in- 
struments before him. Freinshemius, who was one of 
these writers, supposes the singing before him was idola- 
trous : though we not only find in Hanway,! that a con- 
siderable number of singers used to precede Kouli Khan, 
the late celebrated Persian monarch, where an idolatrous 
intention cannot be imagined: but that the like solemnity 
was sri use among the Jews, where nothing of this kind is, 
or can be suspected, 2 Chron. xx. 21, 28; nay, though 
Curtius expressly says in this passage, that these singers 
were those that were wont to sing the praises of their 
kings. And even as to that burning frankincense and 
other odors, it appears to be no more than doing him great 
civil honors: for as it was customary for the Persians to 
burn odors before their princes, and in times of triumph 
and joy ;'l so Brissonius,|| who is celebrated^ for the ac- 
curacy of his observations on the customs of the Persians, 
affirmed, that he did not remember to have any where ob- 
served, that the Persians used incense in the worship of 

* Lib. V. cap. 1. t Vol. i. page 249, 251. 

^ "Vide Not. Var. h) Q. Curtium, lib. v. cap. i. page 264. 
IJ Ubi supra. § Vide Not. Var. in Q. Curtium, page 41. 


fbeirgods. Nor have the passages Savaro^ produces, it 
is certain, any force in them, to prove the contrary ; the 
one being this very passage of Ciirtiiis, and the other a 
line from a poet who flourished near five hundred years 
after the birth of our Lord, and therefore no competent 
witness concerning the idolatrous rites of the ancient Per- 

The pouring out sweet odors on Daniel, which seems 
to be the in^port of the words, must, certainly, be less ex- 
ceptionable than the burning odors before him. But if 
ihey were burnt before him, as it would not now in that 
country have the least idolatrous appearance ; so it would 
not have had that appearance among the ancient Persians, 
if it made, as Brissonius supposes, no part of the worship 
of their gods ; as perfumes seem to have been used some- 
times for mere civil purposes, in countries where they 
entered into the solomnities of religion, for Solomon says, 
ointment and perfume rejoice the heart, Prov. xxvii. 9, 
and Moses, when he forbids the Israelites the making a 
perfume to smell to like that ordered by him to be burned 
in the sanctuary, supposes perfumes might be, or were 
sometimes, burnt for mere secular uses ; why should this 
command of Nebuchadnezzar be imagined to be idola- 
trous ?f 

To finish this article, Nebuchadnezzar appears in all 
this matter to have considered Daniel merely as a Proph- 
et : his words strongly express this, Your God is a God 

* Pag-e 264. 

f An honor of much the same kind seems to have obtained In the West, 
which Horace speaks of in one of his Satires, and which appears, by that 
passage, not to have been appropriated to such as the Romans deified, as 
they did their emperors ; but to have been done to obscure magistrates, 
acknowledged to be mere mortals. 

— —— Tnsaniridentes prcemia scribse, 
Prsitextaro, &:; latum claviim, primcsque hatillum. 

HoR. Lib. i. Sat. v. 1. 34, SG. 
** We ridiculed the vanity of that foolish scrivener, Aufulius Luscus, 
clothed with his Prxtexta, adorned with the Latus Claviis, and having?. 
censer of binming coals carried before liim." Edit. 


of gods, V. 47 ; and had it been otherwise, a person so 
zealous as Uaniel, vviio ran the lisk of his life laiher than 
neglect his homage unto his God, and had the courage lo 
prav to him, in tiiat dangerous situation, with his windows 
open toward Jerusalem, would undoubledlj hke Paul and 
Barndaas have rejected these odors. To suppose after 
ail this, that they were idolatrous, seems lo me almost as 
perverse, as to imagine the burning sweet odors at the 
death of king Asa, 2 Chron. xvi. 14, was the solemnity 
of an apotheosis ; but vehemently inclined as the Jews 
were to idolatry, the deify ing their deceased kings does 
not appear to have been one of their transgressions. 



There was an honor of a different kind done to Dan- 
iel afterward, the clothing him with scarlet, mentioned 
Dan. V. 16, 19. We have no custom of this kind: per- 
sons receive favours of various sorts from princes, but the 
coming out from their presence in a different dress is not 
an honor in use among us, but it is still practised in the 

Some doubt however may be made concerning the pre- 
cise intention of this clothing him, whether it was the in- 
vesting him with the dignity of the third ruler of the king- 
dom, by putting on him the dress belonging to that office ; 
or whether it was a distinct honor: the modern customs 
of the East not determining this point, because caffelans. 
or robes, are at this day put on people with both views. 

So Norden, speaking of one of the Arab princes of Up- 
per Egypt, says, that he had recei\ed at Girge the caffe- 
ian of the Bey, w hich was the only mark of respect they 
paid there to the Turkish government, force deciding be- 
tween the competitors who should have the dignity, ant! 


he that was sent to Girg:^ being absolutely to be vested 
wifh the caffetan by the Bey.^ But then we find too 
that these caflfetans are 2;iv en merely as an honor, and not 
as an ensig^n of office. La Roque tells us, that he himself 
received it at Sidon, and three other attendants on the 
French consid, along with the consul himself, who upon 
a particular occasion waited on Ishmael the Basha of that 
place. f Agreeably to which Thevenot tells us, he saw 
an a^nbassador from the Great Mogul come out from an 
audience he had of the Grand Seignior with a vest of cloth 
of gold upon his back, a caffetan of which sort of stuff 
thirty of his retinue also had ;J and in another place, || 
that he saw one hundred and eight of the retinue of an 
Egyptian Bey thus honored, along w^ith their master, by 
a Basha of that country. 

But if it should be indeterminate, whether this scarlet 
Testment was merely the dress belonging to the ofiSce 
■with which Daniel was dignified, or a distinct honor, it is 
hy no means uncertain whether it was put upon him or 
not, since these cafFetans are always in readiness in the 
East and are wont immediately to be put on, contrary to 
the sentifuent of the learned Mr. Lowth, who supposes, 
in his commentary on Dan. v. 9, that though the king 
thought himself bound to perform the promise of the 16tli 
verse, yei that it was likely it could not take eflfect, at 
that unseasonable time of the night; and therefore the 
words might have been better translated. Then command' 
ed Belshazzar that they should clothe Daniel with scar- 
let. This is certainly an unnecessary refinement. 

I would here take the liberty of annexing a curious pas- 
sage from Sir J. Chardin's sixth MS. volume, to the last 
paragraph, which will abundantly show, how easy it is to 
put a garment on a person they intend to honor, answera- 

* Part ii. page 96, 07. 

t A'oy. <Ie Syrie, & du Mont I.iban, Tome i. page IG, 17. 

^ Part i. page 85. !| Page 2SG. 


ble to tbaf degree of honor (hej design to do liiin, let it be 
what it will. After having observed that in Persia, and 
the Indies, thej not only give a vestment, but a complete 
suit of clothes, when thej would do a person more honor 
than common, contrary to what is practised in Turkey and 
China, he goes on to observe, that these presents of vest- 
ments are only from superiors to inferiors, not from equals 
to equals, nor from the mean to the great. ^ Kings con- 
stantly give them to ambassadors, residents, and envoys; 
and send them to princes who are their tributaries, and 
pay them homage. They pay great attention to the 
quality or merit of those to whom these vestments or hab- 
its are given : they are always answerable to their rank. 
Those that are given to their great men have, in like man- 
ner, as much difference as there is between the degrees of 
honor they possess in the state. The kings of Persia 
have great wardrobes, where there are always many hun- 
dreds of habits ready, designed for presents, and sorted. 
The intendant of the wardrobe, which they call Kalaat 
Kane, that is, the house of Kalaafs, that being the name giv- 
en those vestments that are made presents of, sends one 
of them to the person the great master orders, and of that 
kind the order directs. More than forty taylors are 
always employed in this house. This difference of vest- 
ments, as to the stuff they are made of, is not observed 
in Turkey; there they are pretty much alike in point of 
richness, but they give more or fewer, according to the 
dignity of the persons to whom (hey are presented, or the 
degree in which they would caress them : there are am- 
bassadors that have received twentyfive or thirty of them, 
for themselves and attendants; and several are given to 
one person, respect being had to the place he holds. In 
the year 1675, the king of Persia having returned answer 
to the agents of the grandson of Teimuras Khan, the last 
king of Iberia, who solicited his return to court, and was 
then in Moscovy, (hat he should be welcome, and this 

* See however tlie next Observation, 


young prince having come to the frontiers, his Majesty 
sent one of his officers to bring him to him, and to defray 
Jiis expenses, wirh a very rich present, in which, among 
other things, were five complete suits of clothes. 



Presents of vestments, on the other hand, are fre- 
quently made in these countries to the great, and those 
that are in public stations ; and they expect Ihem. 

Thevenot tells us,"^ it was a custom in Egypt, in his time, 
for the Consuls of the European nations to send the Ba- 
sha a present of so many vests, and so many besides to 
some officers, both when a new Basha came, or a new 
Consul entered his office, as were rated at above a tho!i- 
sand piastres. Does not this last accoiint remind us of the 
presents that were made to Solomon, by the neighbouring 
princes, at set times, part of u'hich, we are expressly told, 
consisted of raiment ? "2 Chron, ix. 24. 

This may be thought not very well to agree with a re- 
mark of Sir J. Chardin, mentioned under the last Obser- 
vation, *' that vestments are not presented by inferiors to 
superiors ; or even by an equal to an equal ;" but there 
is really no inconsistency ; vestments are not the things 
that are chosen by those that would make a present to the 
great, in common ; but they may be ordered to be sent 
as a sort of a tribute, or a due which the superior claims. 

The other things mentioned in that passage of Chroni- 
cles, vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, harness and 
spices, horses and mules, still continue to be thought fit 
presents to the great. vSo Russell tells us, in his account 
of the Eastern visits,f that if it is a visit of ceremony 
from a Basha or a person in power, a fine horse, sometimes 

» Part i. page 253. t ^''o^- i* page 170. 


with funiifure, or some such valuable ihlrifc, is made p 
present of fo him at his departure; and the Baron Fabri- 
cius, in his letters concerning Charles X!I. of Sweden, 
tells us,'^ that when he was seized at Bender, the house 
being set on fire, the rich presents that had been made 
him, consisting of tents, sabres, saddles and bridles adorn- 
ed with jewels, rich housings and harnesses, to the value 
of 200,000 crowns, were consumed. Of the rest, the 
vessels of silver and the spices may be illustrated b^ that 
story of d'Herbelot concerning Akhschid, the commander 
of an Eastern province, who is said to have purchased 
peace of Jezid, general of the troops of one of the Califs, by 
sending him a present of seven hundred thousand drachms 
of silver in ready money ; four hundred loads of saffron, 
which that country produced in abundance ; and four 
hundred slaves, who each of them carried a rich turban of 
silk in a silver basin. 



Party coh)ured vestments are also esteemed a mark of 
honor. Kings' daughters were so arrayed, 2 Sam. xiii, 
18, which shows it was a dress of dignity. 

Dr. Shaw cites this passage, and supposes an account 
which he had just before given, of the dress of the pres- 
ent African ladies, exactly answers it. I should not there- 
fore have taken any notice of this circumstance in these 
papers, had [ not apprehended, that the Doctor's account 
was not perfectly accurate. 

"The virgins," says the Doctor, "are distinguished 
from the matrons, in having their drawers made of needle- 
work, striped silk or linen, just as Tamar's garment is de- 
scribed, 2 Sam. xiii. 18." 

* Page 487- 


Two things, I think, are to be remarked here. In the 
first place, her garment of divers colours 1 should hardly 
imagine to be her drawers. Would she have rent that 
part of her dress as expressive of grief ? Besides, we know 
CD'd:3D mikneseeni) is a quite different word which ex- 
presses drawers, in Exod. xxviii. 4*2 ; in a preceding parl^ 
of which paragraph, the term nJHD ketonet is used, which 
denotes that part of the dress of Tamar that tvas of divers 
colours, to express a part of the dress of the priests quite 
diflferent from their drawers, and which our translators 
render coat. 

Secondly, these garments were of different colours^ 
not by being made of striped materials, or by being em- 
broidered, but by hav ing many pieces of ditt'erent colours 
sewed together : the original word cj'dd passeem sii^nifj ing 
rather small pieces than colours, of which our translators 
Lave given an intimation, in the margin of Gen. xxxvii. 3, 
explanatory of Joseph's dress, which appears lo have 
been the same with Tamar'S. 

This way of ornamenting their dress continues still in 
the East : Dr. Shaw himself mentions it, in the same page 
in which he speaks of Tamar.f There he tells us, that 
they wear shirts of linen, or cotton, or gauze, underneath 
their tunics. That the sleeves of these shirts are wide 
and open, and that ** those, particularly of the women, 
are oftentimes of the richest gauze, adorned with differ- 
ent coloured ribands, interchangeably sewed to each 
other." A garment of this kind, would of coi:rse be a 
garment of divers places and divers colours both, 



Rough as the Eastern warriors are, in their manners, 
they frequently wear yery pompous vestments. 

» Verse 09, *0. | page 228. 

rot. II. 38 


^ Lady Montague, describing in her letters the pompous 
manner in which she saw the Grand Seignior go to mosque^ 
among other attendants she tells ire she saw "the Aga of 
the Janizaries," which term, it is well known, signifies the 
general of the most honorable body of Turkish troops, "in 
a robe of purple velvet, lined with silver tissue, his horse 
led by two slaves richly dressed."* In another place,t 
this very agreeable writer, observing that ancient customs 
still very much continue in the East, tells us, that ladies 
pass their time at their looms, embroidering veils and 
robes, surrounded by their maids. 

These outer garments, which her ladyship calls robes, 
and Hr. Shaw biirnooses, which he tells us answer to our 
cloaks, he expressly says sit very straight about the neck. J 
AH which circumstances put together, furnish out a very 
pleasant comment on Judges v. 30, as it lies in our trans- 
lation; Have they not sped ^ Have not they divided the 
prey ? To Sisera a prey of divers colours, a prey of di- 
vers colours of needlework, or embroidery of divers col- 
ours of needlework, on both sides, meet for the necks of 
them that take the spoiL 



Princes do not only order caflTetans to be given to 
those they would honor, they sometimes have presented 
j)eople with their own garments. 

So d'Eerbelot tells us,|] that when Sultan Selim, the 
son of Bajazet, had defeated Cansou Gauri, Sultan of the 
Mamelukes of Egypt, he assisted at prayers in a mosque 
at Aleppo, upon his triumphant return to Constantinople ; 
and that the Iman of the mosque, having added at the 

* Vol. ii. page go, 31. t P»Se ^^i 45. t Page 325. 1) Page 57U 


close of the prayer these words, «' May God preserve 
Selim Khan, the servant and minister of the two sacred 
cities of Mecca and Medinah!"the title was so very 
agreeable to the Sultan, that he gave the robe that he had 
on to this Iman, and that from that time forward the Ot- 
toman Emperors have always used it in their letters pa- 
tent, as kings of Egypt. Maillet tells us the same story, ^ 
but differs as to the place, which, according to him, wae 
Damascus ; a circumstance of no consequence at all as to 
these remarks. 

Just thus Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that 
was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, 
even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle, 1 Sam. 
xviii. 4. 

Bishop Patrick, 1 am afraid, does not represent this 
story with due simplicity, when in his comment he tells 
us, this was done to express the most entire and perfect 
union. "That he might look like another Jonathan," 
are the words of that writer. Without doubt, the cele- 
brated friendship between Jonathan and David now com- 
menced ; but this stripping himself of his robes and put- 
ting them upon David was no more than doing a high 
honor, I apprehend, to an inferior, in the eyes of the 
servants of Saul, according to modern Eastern customs, 
not intended to make him look like another Jonathan. 
Selim, we are sure, when he gave his rpbe to a Mohamme- 
dan ecclesiastic in the year 1519, had no intention to make 
that ecclesiastic look like another Selim, or even to de- 
clare him the most intimate of his friends. 

The Bishop's interpretation seems to be the more 
strange, as something of the like nature has been practised 
by our own princes. I have seen a robe of queen Eliza- 
beth, given by her majesty to one of our cities, and which 
I think, its mayors used formerly to wear on gi-eat so- 
lemnities; but no one will suppose any thing more was 
intended by her, than by Sultan Selim when he presented 

* Letter xii. page 153, 154. 


Lis robe to llie Iraan ; both simply intended to do an hon? 
or (o those to whom they presented their robes; nor is 
there any ground to suppose Jonathan intended any thing 
different from them. 



As the disunity of a prince made the being arrayed in 
Lis clorhes a mighry honor, so it did not allow of a mal- 
efactor's setting his eyes upon him. The majesty at least 
of the kings of Persia did not allow of this, as appears in 
the case of Haman, whose face was covered, as soon as 
the courtiers perceived Ahasuerus looked upon Lim in 
that light, E>^t. vii. 80 

Some curious correspondent examples have been pro- 
duced from antiquity, and may be met with in Pool's Sy- 
nopsis ; but perhaps it may be amusing to find that this 
custom still continues ; and it may be useful, more clearly 
to ascertain the meaning of covering his face, wbicL Las 
been differently understood by learned men. 

I shall therefore set down from Dr. Pococke's travels,^ 
the account he gives of an artifice by which an Egyptian 
beyf was taken off, which was this. A man being brought 
before him like a malefactor just taken, with his hands be- 
Lind him, as if tied, and a napkin over his head, as mal- 
efactors commonly have, when he was brought before the 
Bey suddenly shot him dead. 

Harbonah's covering Haman's face then was the placing 
him before the king, as a malefactor to hear his doom. 

This same circumstance also may be thought to be ex- 
planatory of a remarkable clause in the prophecies of 

• Vol. i. page 179. 

t The title they give to the greatest men of that country after tfe^ 


Ezekiel, who speaks of false prophetesses, as making ker- 
chufs, upon the head of every stature j or persons of all 
ages, to hunt souls, Ezek. xiii. 18. 

Il is certain these proplietesses did two very different 
things, they slew, in prediction, those that were not to 
die ; and they saved the souls alive that were not to live ; 
V. 19. This making kerchiefs then upon the head may 
be understood in very contrary senses. 

A. v^ry learned and ingenious writer* supposes the 
word mni3DD mispachoth, translated kerchiefs, signifies 
veils, and the putting them on the head the keeping peo- 
ple in blindness and ignorance. But I cannot adopt this 
explanation : because it seems to me not to express with 
suificient strength, what these false prophetesses certain- 
ly did, who absolutely predicted the very contrary to 
what was to happen, and did not content themselves with 
concealing future events from them ; nor secondly, does 
it agree with the nature of Eastern veils, which though 
they keep others in ignorance who the wearers of them 
are, by no means hinder those that make use of them from 
seeing whither they are going, they themselves can see, 
though they are unseen. 

Shall we on the contrary suppose this clause rather 
refers to those whom they threatened with death, as they 
certainly did some, at the same time that they promised 
others life? They perhaps may be represented as cover- 
ing the heads of those they by their prophesyings destined 
unto death ; as the head of Haman was covered when he 
was really in those circumstances. No commentator, 
that I know of, has given us this explanation, but it seems 
worthy of some attention. 

I am nevertheless inclined to understand the clause in 
a different sense, and as relating to those whom they flat- 
tered into ease by their allurements: since the veiling of 
malefactors seems not well to agree to a female character ; 

* Gataker, whose sentiments seeta to be adopted by Mr. Lowth, in hh 
^commentary on Ezek. xiii. 18, 


and since an easy explanalion may be given of (be image 
here made use of, understanding it as descriptive of (heir 
fatal prophetic flatteries. 

The Eastern mode of sitting, supported by pillows, 
which I have had occasion to mention under a preceding 
Observation, and of which Dr. Russell has given us a 
print, representing a fine Eastern lady reposing herself on 
one of these bolsters or pillows, by leaning with one of her 
arms on one of (hem, while she is smoking, fully explains 
one- part of this representation of Ezekiel. And when 
we are told by Dr. Shaw=^ and lady M. W. Montague,f 
that the Eastern women bind on their other ornaments for 
the head with an handkerchief, which the last of them 
calls a rich embroidered handkerchief, we are naturally 
led to suppose we have the interpretation of that other 
clause of Ezekiel, which we have been considering. If 
the custom be but as ancient as the time of Ezekiel, we 
have no reason to doubt of it ; for these prophetesses did 
the same thing by their flattering words, as would have 
been best expressed, if they had thought fit to signify the 
same thing by actions only, as the Prophets sometimes 
did, by making bolsters for the arms, and presenting them 
to the Israelitish women whom they wanted to assure of 
the continuance of their prosperity ; and embroidering 
handkerchiefs, proper to bind over the ornaments of fe- 
males in a state of honor, and afterward putting them on 
their heads. Whereas, the true ProphetsJ of God gave 
them to understand, in direct contradiction to all this, that 
if the Jews would not yield up themselves to the Chal- 
deans, great numbers of their men should perish, and 
their women should be brought down from those elevated 
places in which they sat, supported by rich bolsters, their 
divans as Russell calls them, and should be forced to sit 
on the ground ; and instead of a rich attire for their 
heads, should have their hair miserably dishevelled, 

* Page 221. t ^^"l* "• P^S^ ^0. 

4: Is, XX. 2—4, Ezek. xxiv. IG, IT, 22, 23, 24, &o. 


Strongly marking out grief in a despairing neglect of their 
persons. Such is the description an elder Prophet gives 
of the state of captives, which every one must see is just 
the reverse of what these false prophetesses are repre- 
sented as doing : Come down and sit in the diistj O vir, 
gin daughter of Babylon, sit on the ground : there is no 
throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans : for thou shall no 
more be called tender and delicate. Take the mill stones 
and grind meal, uncover thy locks, Si-c. Is. xlvii. 1, 2.^ 

This explanation agrees perfectly well with our trans- 
lation, which makes use of the old English terra kerchief 
here, and, according to this account of matters, does so 
with very great propriety, it being much better than the 
•word veils. It agrees as well with the sentiment of those 
that suppose the original word signifies whatever serves 
to bind or fasten a thing on.f But neither the one, nor 
the other, nor Junius, J who supposes the word signifies 
triumphal caps, such as the Babylonians and Egyptians 
were wont to wear, do, by the several terms they make 
use of, convey to the mind the thought I have been pro- 
posing with clearness and precision, nor perhaps intend- 
ed any thing very like it. 

The threatening of God by Isaiah, ch. iii. If, may per- 
haps somewhat confirm the explanation I have been giv- 
ing ; Therefore the Lord rvill smite with a scab the 
crown of the head of the daughter of Zion. It is evident 
the Prophet is speaking of the painful alterations produced 

* A remarkable instance of this we have in the medal struck by Vespa- 
sian, on the subjugation of the Jews. On the reverse is seen a pcilvi tree^ 
and a woman sitting on the ground at the foot of it, -with her head leaning 
on her arm, weeping, and at her feet diflerent pieces of armour; with this 
legend, Jiulea capta. And thus was exactly fulfilled the saying of the. 
Prophet Isai. iii. 26 : .^nd she fie/zij desolate, shall sit upon the ground. 

fVide Buxtorfi Epit. Rad. Heb. '•' Generale nomen, juxta quosdam, 
earura rerum quibusaliquid constringltur, fee conjungitur ut adhserescat. R. 
Uiiv. Kimcbi, Peplaj aliiTiarje." 

\ Apud Foli Syn. 


by being defeated in war, T^hy men shall fall by the 
srvord, a7id thy mighty in the war, ver, 23. But what 
has a scab to do with ssubjection or captivitj ? If howev- 
er we observe the resemblance between the word nsD sa- 
pach, from whence the word translated kerchief is oeriv- 
ed, n3\y sipach, which our version renders he will smite 
with a scab, on the one hand, being hardly distinguisha- 
ble from each other by different sounds ; and refiect, on 
the other hand, that many nations, have been fond of 
using the same word, or words very little different from 
each other in sound, in opposite senses, which they have 
considered as elegant in writing, and dignified by the 
names of the Antanaclasis and the Poronomasia ; we pos- 
sibly may enter into the reason of the expression : the 
daughters of Zion have been wont to adorn their heads 
with a rich embroidered handkerchief, but the Lord, says 
the Prophet, using a term just the same in sound, shall 
smite their heads with a scab* 



But besides these methods of doing honor to persons 
which have formed a sort of regular series, there are some 
others which are not to be forgotten, and which I shall 
give an account of in a more miscellaneous way. 

When, for instance, I read Pitts's account of a caval- 
cade at Algiers, upon a person's turning Mohammedan, 
and which is apparently desi<rned to do him, as well as 
their law, honor, I cannot forbear thinking of the manner 
in which Haman proposed to do a person honor, and 
which Mordecai actually received. I will not repeat that 
passage of the book of Esther,'^ as the following extract 
from Pitts will bring it suflSciently to mind. 

* Ch. Ti. 7.-9. 


" The apostate is to get on horseback, on a stately 
steed, with a rich saddle and fine trappings : he is also 

richly habited, and has a turban on his head but 

nothing of this is to be called his own ; only there is giv- 
en about him Iwo or three yards of broadcloth, which is 
laid before him on the saddle. The horse, with him on 
his back, is led all round the city which he is sev- 
eral hours in doing The apostate is attended with 

drums, and other music, and twenty or thirty vekil barges, 
or stewards, who, as I told you, are under the otho ba- 
shees, or Serjeants. These march in order on each side 

of the horse, with naked swords in their hands 

The crier goes before, with a loud voice giving Ihanks to 
God for the proselyte that is made." &c.^ 

Strange as the method may appear to us of honoring a 
person by putting vestments on him above his degree, 
and which it is not designed he should keep, together 
with the carrying him thus equipped about a large town on 
horseback, attended by a crier : yet Africans, we find, con- 
cur with Asiatics in it. It is no wonder then to find Ila- 
man proposed a thing of this sort, and that Ahasuerus 
easily assented to it. 



The riding at all on a horse seeuis to be an honorable 
thing in the East, since Europeans are not in common per- 
mitted to do it ; the consuls of France, according to Mail- 
let,! being the only Frenchmen in Egypt who are allow- 
ed it, the rest being obliged to ride on asses or mules. 
Dr. Pococke, in like manner, describes the English con- 
sul as making his entry into Cairo on horseback, his 
friends and attendants on asses ; no Christian, excepting 
consuls, being permitted to ride on horseback in the city. J 

* Page 118, 199. T ^^ett. i. page 7, 8. ^ Vol. i. psge 17. 

VOL. II. 39 


This is not peculiar fo Egypt : Maund fell complains of 
his being obliged, with his company, to submit to this 
affront at Damascus.* Not that the asses of these coun- 
tries are not proper enough to ride on, for they have 
nofhing of that indolence and heaviness, Maillet says> 
which are natural to ours, and will hold their briskness 
through the longest jonrnies, so that ladies ride nothing 
else, and the men choose them, rather than horses, when 
tljeir circumstances will permit;! but because they are 
by no means so proper as a horse for times of solemnity 
and slate, or at any time for such persons as would appear 
with dignify. 

Accordingly, horses are used to no other motions in 
the East than that of walking in state, and running in full 
career. t And for this reason, Pococke tells us, the chous 
of the Janizaries, at Cairo, always goes on an ass for 
greater speed ; those creatures pacing along very fast ; 
whereas it is contrary to the Turkish dignity to go, on a 
horse, fasfer than a foot pace in the streets. I| Riding on 
horseback is, in the Levant, accounted an honorable 
thing, and they ride them accordingly in a very stately- 

And indeed this has so struck some of our Western 
travellers. Dr. Russell in particular,§ that they have 
frankly confessed, that a great man of the East riding on 
horseback, and attended by his servants, has appeared 
much more stately and dignified to them, than one of ours 
does in his coach loaded with footmen. And, in truth, 
the people of these countries must be allowed to be most 
requisite connoiseurs, as to every attitude and every cir- 
cumstance that serves to ennoble the appearance of a per- 
son, and render it stately and majestic. 

The Prophet Zechariah seems accordingly to have 
supposed this sort of sensibility, when he describes the 

* rage 130. t Lett. ix. page 29. 

i Shay, rage 166. |) Vol. ix. page lyi. § See vol. i. page 222. 


coming of (he Messiah to Zion as meek and lowly, be- 
cause he was to make his entry on an ass. 

For this attaching of stateliness and dignity to the rid- 
ing on a horse, obtained in J udea before the times of Zech- 
ariah, though it had not been always so in that country, 
the greatest personages and on the most solemn occasions 
loo, riding there in more ancient times on asses and mules. ^ 
It seems to have begun in the reign of Solomon, in whose 
days we are told many horses were brought out of Egypt, f 
and who apparently touches upon the pomp, supposed to 
be in riding on horses, in his writings, Eccles, x. 7. I 
have already taken some notice of this passage; but Rus- 
sell's account of persons of condition riding on horseback, 
with a number of servants walking before them, is a much 
more perfect illustration of a passage which speaks of 
those that ride as riding on horses. " I have seen ser- 
vants riding in state," was the thought of the wise man, 
while persons of great birth, in countries where dignity is 
kept up with the nicest care, he had seen walking like 
servants before those that rode. 

To the splendor also of this attendance, he refers with- 
out doubt in part, in those words, I got rae servants, Ec- 
cles. ii. 7, 



We are told in a book, which gives an account of the 
sufferings of the crew of an English privateer, shipwreck- 
ed on the African coast in 1745-6,$ and which occasion- 
ally mentions the education of their children, and their 
getting the Koran by heart, that " when they have gone 
through, their relations borrow a fine horse and furniture, 

* See Judges x. 4, 2 Sam. xviii. 9, I Kings i. 33. 
t I Kings X. 28, before \rhich time there were few or no horses in Jiidea. 
+ Barbarian Cruelty, Appendix, page 52. 


and cany them about the town in procession, with the 
book in their hands, the rest of their companions follow- 
ing, and al! sorts of the music of the country going be- 

Dr. Shaw mentions the same custom,^ adding the ac- 
clamation of the school boys, but taking no notice of the 
music. We have no reason, however, to doubt the fact 
on the account of the Doctor's silence, especially as it re- 
lates to another part of Barbary, and as it is given us by 
those that resided some years in that country. 

Shaw makes no use of this circumstance relating to the 
education of youth in Barbary ; but I confess, the arcotnt 
that the privateer's people ha\e gi\en of this procession, 
seems to me to be a lively comment on that ancieni Jew- 
ish procession, mentioned 1 Sam. x, 5, 6, Thou shall 
•meet a company of Prophets coming down from the high 
place, with a psaltery, and a tabret, and a pipe, and a 
harp before them, and they shall prophesy And the 
spirit of the Lord will come ttpon thee, and thou shall 
prophesy 7vith them, and shall be turned into another 
man. That the word prophets oftentimes signifies sons 
ov scfiolars of the Prophets, and prophesying, s???gmg*, 
have been often remarked ; but no author, that 1 know of, 
has given any account of the nature of this procession, 
and what it was designed for. We are sometimes told, 
high places were used for sacrifices ; and in one case, mu- 
sic, it is certain, went playing before them when they 
went up to worship, Is. xxx. 29 ; but did they also return 
from sacrificing widi it ? lYe are told that m.iisic was 
made use of by the Prophets to calm and compose them,' 
and invite the divine influences; which is indeed very 
true, but is it to the purpose ? Did they go forth in this 
manner from their college, into the noise and interruptions 
of the world, to call down the prophetic impulse? But if 
we consider them as a company of the sons of the Proph- 
ets, going in procession with songs of praise, and music 
playing before them, and recollect that it is usual at this 

* Pacre 195. 


day for young scholars to go in procession with acclama- 
tions, and music playing before them, the whole mystery 
seems to be unravelled. To which may be added, that 
Saul was to meet them, and find himself turned into another 
man, into a man, perhaps, that is as instantaneously made 
as knowing in the law of God, as the youth to whom they 
were doing these honors, or any of his convoy, which 
acquaintance wilh the laws of God was very necessary, for 
one that was to judge among his brethren as their king. 
For this reason, the Jewish kings were to write out a copy 
of the law of God, and read it continually, that they 
might be perfect masters of it, Deut. xvii. 18 — 20 ; which 
accomplishment some youth had gained whom Saul met 
with, and w^as honored with the solemnity the sacred his- 
torian speaks of, if the customs of South Barbary may be 
supposed to be explanatory of those of Judea, 



When the Consul whom Dr. Pococke attended, enter- 
ed Cairo, the Doctor tells us, that, according to an an- 
cient custom of state, a man went before and sprinkled 
water on the ground to lay the dust.^ 

Every one knows the convenience of this practice in 
hot and dry countries ; but I do not remember to have 
met with it mentioned any where else as an Eastern way 
of doing honor: but if the Doctor is right here, if it was 
not barely a thing thought at that time convenient, but 
an ancient custom of state, the same causes might occa- 
sion it to be used in other countries; and if it had been 
used in Judea before the time of David, in the days of the 
Judges and of Saul, it will explain Shimei's behaviour, 
and give it great energy, who, in direct opposition to it, 
threw stones, and dusted him with dust in the day of that 

* Vol. L page 17. 


prince's affliction.* He had been wont to be honored bj 
having people go before hiin to take care that the grouiid 
should be moistened and no dust raised where he was to 
pass ; Shimei did the reverse. 

This honor is not however confined to royalty ; an En- 
glish consul was thus treated ; private persons were also 
thus dishonored, for the Jews clamoured against St. Paul 
in the temple, and threw dust, Acts xxii. 23. 

An observation Sir John Chardin has made in his MS. 
note on Job ii. 2, gives a somewhat different turn to our 
apprehensions of the behaviour of Shimei, and of the Jews 
in the temple toward St. Paul : he says, '* that in almost all 
the East, those who accuse a criminal, or demand justice 
against him, throw dust upon him, as much as to say, he 
deserves to be put under ground ; and that it is a com- 
mon interpretation of the Turks and Persians, Be covered 
with earth. Earth be upon thy head : as we are ready to 
say, I wish you four feet under ground." The Jews cer- 
tainly thought St. Paul deserved to die ; and Shimei 
iniffht design to declare by what he did, that David was 
unworthy to live. 

1 must leave it to my reader to determine which senti- 
ment is most natural. 



When d'Arvieux was in the camp of the great Emir, 
his princess was visited by other Arab princesses. The 
last that came, whose visit alone he describes, was mount- 
ed, he says, on a camel, covered with a carpet, and deck- 
ed with flowers ; a dozen women marched in a row before 
her, holding the camel's halter with one hand : they sung 
the praises of their mistress, and songs which expressed 
joy, and the happiness of being in the service of such a 

* 2 Sara. x\i« 13, marg. , 


beautiful and amiable lady. Those which went first, and 
vrere more distant from her person, came in their turn to the 
head of the camel, and took hold of the haller; which 
place, as being the post of honor, they quitted to others, 
when the princess had gone a few paces. The Emir's 
wife sent her women to meet her, to whom the halter was 
entirely quitted, out of respect, her own women putting 
themselves behind the camel : in this order they marched 
to the tent, where she alighted. They then all sung togeth- 
er the beauty, birth, and good qualities of this princess.^^ 

Does not this account illustrate a passage,-)- of the 
Prophet Nahum, where he speaks of the presenting the 
Q^iieen of Nineveh, or Nineveh itself under the figure of a 
queen, to her conqueror ? He describes her as led by 
her maids, with the voice of doves, with the uoice of 
mourning ; that is, their wonted songs of joy with which 
they used to lead her along, as the Arab women did their 
princesr!, being turned into lamentations. 

That the Prophet is speaking of the presenting Huzzab 
to her conqueror, is visible from the word brought up, 
Hiizsab shall be led away captive, she shall be brought 
up, which is the same word in the original, as well as in 
our version, which is used for the conducting Zedekiah 
to the place where his conqueror held his court, 2 Kings 
XXV. 6, Jer. xxxis. 5. 

Nor were former distinctions altogether \q?^.{ in captivi^ 
ty, Thou shall not escape out of his hand, said Jeremiah 
to Zedekiah, thoii shall surely be taken and delivered 
into his hand. . . But thou shall die in peace, and rjitk 
the burnings of thy fathers, the former kings which were 
before thee, so shall they burn odors for thee, and they 
will lament thee, saying. Ah Lord I Jer. xxxiv. 3, 5. 
Though Zedekiah was to die a captive, yet some distinc- 
tions of royalty were to be paid him in captivity : so Huz- 
zab was to be led by her maids into the presence of her 
conqueror, as princesses were usually led, but with the 
voice of lamentation instead of the voice of joy. 

* Vojr. dans la Pal. page 249. f Ch. ii. ?. 


Mr. Lowth, in his Coramentarj, supposes this passage 
of Nahiim describes Hiizzab as a great princess, attend- 
ed by her maids of honor, bewailing her and their condi- 
tion ; but neither has he, nor any other commentator that 
I know of, entered into the force of the expression- her 
maids shall lead her, any more than of the term brought 



The women of the Arab princess led her camel singing* 
This is not peculiar to the Eastern princesses. Hanway 
tells us, that Nadir Shah,* when he removed his camp, 
was preceded by his running footmen, and these by his 
chanters, who were nine hundred in number, and fre- 
quently chanted moral sentences, and encoujiums on the 
Shah, occasionally proclaiming his victories also.f 

The like practice obtained among the inhabitants of 
Mount Libanus, in the lime of Pope Clement VIII. for 
Dandini, the Pope's nuncio to the Maronites, says, " We 
were always accompanied with the better sort of people, 
who walked on foot before our mules, and out of the re- 
spect they bore to the Pope, and in honor to us, they 
would sing certain songs, and spiritual airs, which they 
usually sung as they marched before the patriarch, and 
other persons of qualify." J It was not confined, accord- 
ing to this account, to mean persons ; but persons of figure 
went before him in procession with songs. 

We are willing to suppose, that Elijah's running before 
Ahab's chariot to the gates of Jezreeljl was not unworthy 
his prophetic character; but as the idea of the mob's 
running before a royal coach will present itself to some 
minds, when they read this passage, so commentators are 
not very happy in explaining this piece of the history of 
Elijah. Bishop Patrick supposes he ran before Ahab 

• Kouli Kha'i, as we commonly called liim. 
t Vol. i. p. 249, 251. :f Chap. xvii. p. 68. |I I Kings xviii. 46. 


Sike one of his footmen, in which he showed his readiness 
to do the kiiigall imaginable honor, and that he was far from 
being his enemy : would it however have become Becket, 
the Archbishop of Canterbury, to have run before the 
horse of Henry II. to show he was not his enemy? or 
even Friar Peito before Henry VIII. to do him all imag- 
inable honor? 

Buf if Ahab had chanters running before him, like Na- 
dir Shah) it does not appear at all contrary to the rules 
of decorum, for one brought up to celebrate the divine 
praises, to put himself at the head of them, to direct them, 
in singing praise to him that was then giving them rain, 
and to interm.ingle due encomiums on the prince that had 
permitted the extermination of the priests of Baal ; or if 
he had none such, yet if it had been practised in those 
times, and was thought graceful and becoming a prince, 
nothing forbade Elijah's doing it alone : and perhaps what 
is said concerning the singers of the contemporary king 
of Judah,2 Chron. xx. 21, 22, may enable us to guess, 
whether or no it was a practice totally unknown at that 
time. The expression of the divine historian, that the 
hand of the Lord 7V as upon him, perfectly agrees to this 
thought; for it appears, from 2 Kings iii. 15, that it sig- 
nifies enabling a Prophet to prophesy : and consequently 
we are rather to understand these words,- of God's stir- 
ring him up to the composing, and singing, of some proper 
hymns on this occasion, than the mere enabling him to 
run with greater swiftness than his age would otherwise 
have permitted Ivm to do, in which sense alone, I think, 
commentators have understood that clause. 



It is reckoned in the East, according to Dr. Pococke,-^ 
a mark of respect often to change their garments, in the 

* See his account of their diet and visits, vol. i. page 182) fijc- 
TOL. H. 40 


time of a risit for a night or two. He expresses himself 
however with obscurity, and some uncertainty; but it is 
made certain by the accounts of other travellers that it is 
a matter of state and magnificence. 

So Thevenot tells us, that when he saw the Grand Seig- 
nior go to the new mosque, he was clad in a sattin doliraan 
of a flesh colour; and a vest of almost the same colour | 
but when he had said his prayers, then he changed his 
vest, and put on one of a particular kind of green.* At 
another time he went to the mosque in a vest of crimson 
velvet, but returned in one of a fired satin.f 

To this frequent change of vestments among the great, 
possibly the Psalmist alludes, when, speaking of the Lord 
of all, he says, the heavens, unchangeable as they are 
when compared with the productions of the earth, shall 
perish, while be shall remain ; yea, they shall be laid aside, 
in comparison of his immortality, as soon as a garment 
grows old ; or rather, this change which they shall under- 
go, shall come on more speedily, with respect to his eter- 
nity, than the laying aside of a vestment which kings and 
princes change often in a day. The changing of clothes 
is a piece of Eastern magnificence : how wonderfully sub- 
lime then, in this view, is this representation of the gran- 
deur of God, Thou shalt change thestheavens as a prince 
changes his vesture. 



The putting on new clothes is also thought, by the 
people of the East, to be very requisite for the due sol- 
emnization of a time of rejoicing, and indeed almost nec- 

The Calif Mostanser Billah, going up one day to one 
of the highest parts of his palace, according to d'Herbe- 

* Part i. page 86. t f age Sr. 


lot, "saw the greatest parts of the flat roofs of the houses 
of Bagdad, his capital, spread with clothes of different 
kind*, and being told by his Vizier, upon his asking the rea- 
son of it, that the inhabitants of Bagdad were drying their 
clothes, which they had newly washed on the account of 
the approach of the Beirain, which is a very solemn Mo- 
hammedan festival, Mostanser was so concerned, that they 
were so poor as to be obliged to wash their old clothes, 
for want of new ones, with which to celebrate this fes- 
tival, that he ordered a great quantity of gold to be in- 
stantly made into bullets, proper to be shot out of cross, 
bows, which he and his courtiers threw, by this means, 
upon every terrace upon the city where he saw their gar- 
ments laid a drying.'*^ Agreeably to this, Hasselquist 
tells us,f " the Turks, even the poorest of them, must 
absolutely have new clothes at their Beiram." J 

New clothes then were thought very necessary for the 
solemnization of a slated Eastern festival. It will appear, 
in the sequel, that those that are occasional were observed 
in the same manner. 

Commentators have taken notice, that the rending 
mentioned by Solomon, Eccles. iii. 7, refers to the Oriental 
modes of expressing sorrow ; but they seem to think, that 
the sewing signifies nothing more than the terminating, 
perhaps nothing more than the abating of affliction. Mai- 
monides is quoted on this occasion, as saying, He that 
mourns for a father, &c. let him stitch up the rent of his 
garment at the end of thirty days, but never let him sew 
it up well. As the other cases, however, are as directly 
opposite as possible, is it not more probable, that a season 
of joy is here meant, in contrast to a time of bitter grief, 
than merely of some abatement of distress ? And that 
by a time of sewing is meant a time of making up new 
vestments, rather than a slight tacking together the places 

• Page 400. t Page 632. 

^ A great festival with them, answering our Easter, for it follows their 
month of fasting. 


of their clothes, which were torn in the paroxysm ©f their 
grief ? 

Thus when Jacob supposed he had lost his son Joseph, 
he rent his lolhes for grief, Gen. xxxvii. 34. while the 
time of preparing for the circumcision of the son of Ish- 
niael, the Basha of Egypt when Maiilet lived there, must 
have been a time of great sewing. For the rejoicing on 
that occasion lasted, it seems, " ten days, and on the first 
day of the ceremony the whole household of the Basha 
appeared in new clothes,^' and were very richly dressed. 
Two vests of different coloured satin had been given to 
everyone of his do.nestics, one of English clolb, with 
breeches of the same, and a lining of fur of a Moscovife 
fox. The meanest slave was dressed after thin sort with 
a turban, of which the cap was of velvet, or English cioJh, 
and the other part adorned with gold. Tiie pages had 
large breeches of green velvet, and short vests of gold 
brocade. Those of higher rank were more richly dressed; 
and there was not one of them but changed his dress two 
or three times during the solemnity. Ibrahim, the young 
lord that was to be circumcised, appeared on the morning 
of the first day, clothed in a half vest of white cloth, lined 
with a rich fur, over a doliman of Venetian cloth of gold, 
and over this half vest he wore a robe of fire coloured cam- 
blet, lined with a green tabby. This vest, or quiriqui, 
was embroidered with pearls of a large size, and fastened 
before with a clasp of large diamonds. Through all the 
time the solemnity lasted, Ibrahim changed his dress three 
or four times a day, and never wore the same thing twice, 
excepting the quiriqui with its pearls, which he put on 
three or four tiujes." I need not goon with Maiilet's ac- 
count; it is sufficiently evident, that the time of preparing 
for this rejoicing was a tiuie of sewing. To the Patriarch 
Jacob it was a time of rcndingy when he apprehended his 
son was dead; to the Basha Ishmael, the circum.cision of 
his son was a time of setvingf for that solemnity gives 
Eastern parents exquisite joy, and the making up great 

* DcsciiiJt. (le I'Egypte, Let x'. 


quantities of clothes is one of the methods they make use 
of to express that joy. 



Brides also in the East frequently change their dress, 
and upon such a change are presented anew each time to 
the bridegroom. 

This is d'Arvieux's account of the Arabs. " When 
the evening is come, the women present the bride to her 
future husband. The women who conduct her make him 
a compliment, who answers not a word, sitting perfectly 
still, wilh a grave and serious air. This ceremony is 
three times repeated the same evening, and whenever 
they change the bride's dress they present her to the 
bridegroom, who receives her with the same gravity. It 
is a sort of magnificence in the East frequently to dress 
and undress the bride, and to cause her to wear in that 
sauie day all the clothes made up for her nuptials. The 
bridegroom's dress also is frequently changed for the 
same reason."^ 

When he says it is a sort of magnificence in the East 
to do this, he seems to affirm that the management is not 
peculiar to the Arabs, but common in those countries. 
The Arabian Nights' Entertainments cenfirm this,f fre- 
quently mentioning this changing of the bride's dress, and 
the presenting her when new dressed to the bridegroom. 

The attending to this circumstance throws an energy- 
over the words of St. John, which I do not remember to 
have seen any where noticed : / John saw the holy cityy 
new Jerusalem, coming dorvn from God out of heaven^ 
prepared as a bride for her husband. Rev, xxi. 2. 

Sir John Chardin, in his manuscript which I have so 

f Yoy. dans la Pal. page 335. f No- 180, 101, 102, 103, &q. 


frequently quoted, supposes the decorations and attitude 
the Prophet gives,^ to Aholibah, or Jerusalem, are those 
of a bride. It is precisely after this manner the bride 
receives her husband in Asia: they carry her to a bath: 
they afterward adorn her magnificently; they paint, tliey 
perfume her; they carry her to the nuptial chamber; 
they place her upon a bed ; they set a smoking some in- 
cense pots, and serve up sweetmeats upon a table placed 
before her. The bed is a mattress with its covering, laid 
upon the carpet, with large cushions placed at her back 
and her sides, which our authors every where niean by 
the word bed, when they are speaking of I he East, and 
are used on all occasions there among the great, at feasts, 
at visits, &c. 



When Bishop Patrick supposes the words of the Psalm- 
ist,f Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand 
of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the 
hand of her mistress : so our eyes wait upon the Lord 
our God, until that he have mercy upon us, as signifying, 
We submit ourselves to this severe punishment, as poor 
slaves do to the stroke of their offended master or mis- 
tress, resolving to bear it patiently, till thou our Lord, 
who dost ijiflict it, wilt be pleased, &c. he does not seem 
to have formed conceptions lofty enough of the state as- 
sumed by superiors in the East, and especially by princes, 
when he supposes the great King of kings punishing 
Israel with his own hands. 

On the other hand. Sir J. Ohardin's MS. note on the 
place does not give us a complete view of the thought of 
the Psalmist. He tells us, " It is taken from a custom 
made use of amongst all the great in the East, especially 
in Asia Minor, I mean the Turks ; there, every order is 

* Ezek. xxHl. 40, 41. t Psalm, cxxiii. 3. 


given by a sign of the hands. From hence the mutes of 
the Seraglio. TJie same obtains in (he Persian court." 
This h the same with Ihe first of the four explanations 
that are given us in Pool's Synopsis : but did the Psalm- 
ist mean to represent the Israelites as saying, (hey 
would altentixely observe all the orders God should 
give them, and set themselves to obey them, (ill the afflic- 
tion they groaned under should be removed? Was their 
allention then to cease? 

The tnie explanation, I apprehend, is this : As a slave, 
ordered by a master or mistress to be chastised for a fault, 
turns his or her imploring eyes to that superior, till that 
motion of the hand appears that puts an end to the bit- 
terness that is felt ; so our eyes are put up to thee, our 
God, till thy hand shall give the signal for pu((ing an end 
to our sorrows : for our enemies, O Lord ! we are sensi- 
ble, are only executing (hy orders, and chastening us ac- 
cording to thy pleasure. 



Notwithstanding there is so much distance kept up 
between superiors and inferiors in these countries, and 
such solemnity and awfulness in their behaviour, which 
my reader must often have remarked, yet we find them 
in some cases, more condescending than the great among 

The polite editor of the Ruins of Balbec takes notice 
of the gentleness and humanity with which the great, in 
the Levant, temper the insolence of power to the strano-er 
under their roof, with a sort of admiration y^ but he is 
not explicit enough for my purpose, nor are those soften- 
ings only in the case of strangers. Dr. Pococke is more 

* Pajje 4. 


ample, and speaks of the admission of their poor to their 
tables. So in his account of a great entertainment, made 
by the governor of an Egyptian village for the cashif,^ 
with whom he travelled, he says, the custom was for every 
one when he had done eating, to get up, wash his hands, 
and take a draught of water ; and so in a continual succes- 
sion, till the poor came in, and eat up all; for ihat the 
Arabs never set by any thing that is brought to table, so 
that when they kill a sheep, they dress it all, call in their 
neighbours, and the poor, and finish every thing. f That 
author afterward mentions what is still more surprising : 
foringivingan account of the diet of the Eastern people, p. 
18*?., &c. he informs us, that an Arab prince will often dine 
in the street before his door, and call to all that pass, even 
beggars, in the usual expression of Bismillah, that is, in 
the name of God; who come and sit down, and when 
they have done, retire with the usual form of returning 

The picture then which our Lord exhibits, Luke xiv, 
of a king's making a great feasf, and, when the guests re- 
fused to come, sending for the poor, the maimed, the 
blind, is not so unlike life, as perhaps we have been ready 
to imagine. J 



The present female way of expressing joy in the East, 
by gently applying one of their hands to their mouths, 
seems to have obtained in the times of remote antiquity, 
and to be meant in several places of Scripture. 

• The governor of a district in that country. f Vol. i. page 5T. 

4 St. Luke does not mention the quality #t' him tliat ni;')e the feast ; 
but St. Matthew, in \»hat is supposed to be his account of the same parable, 
calls him a king, ©hap. xxii. 3. 




What their present custom is, appears in the following 
passage of Pitts, describing the joy vvilh which the lead- 
ers of their sacred caravans are received, in the several 
towns of Barbary through which they pass : "This emir 
Hagge, into whatsoever town he comes, is received with 
a great deal of joy, because he is going about so religious 
a work; and it is, who can have the favour and honor of 
kissing his hand, or but his garment ! He goes attended 
in much pomp, with flags, kettle drums, &c. and loud 
acclamations do, as it were, rend the skies ; nay, the very 
women get upon the tops of the houses to view the pa- 
rade, or fine show, where they keep striking their four 
fingers on their lips, as fast as they can, making a joyful 
noise all the while, which soiuk's somewhat like vow, 
yow, yoW) hundreds of times. "^ Others have given us 
nearly the same account. 

This seems to me to be referred io in some passages 
of Scripture; and that the sacred writers suppose two 
different methods of expressing joy by a quick motion of 
the hand, which is lost in our translation: for I suppose 
the clapping of the hands in the phiral, is a very distinct 
thing from the clapping the hand in the singular, though 
our translators have confounded them together. 

The striking one hand against the other with some 
smartness, which we mean by the term clapping of the 
hands, might, and I believe did, obtain anciently, as an 
expression of joy ; not unfrequently, if not always, of the 
malignant kind : so the Prophet Jeremiah says of Jeru- 
salem, when it was destroyed, All that pass hy^ clap their 
hands at thee ; they hiss and wag their head at thedavgh- 
ter of Jerusalem, saying, Is this the city thai men call 
the perfection of beauty, the joy of the whole earth ? Lam. 
ii. 15. In like manner Job, after describing the sudden 
destruction of the wicked, says, Men shall clap their 
hands at him, and shall hiss him oul of his place. Job 
xxvii. 23. 

• Account of the religion and Manners of the Mohammedans, 4th ed. 
page 85. 

TOi, II. 41 


But other words, which our version translates ciappmg 
the hands, signify the applying only one hand some* 
where, with softness, as a testimony, in common, of a joy 
of a more agreeable kind. They that consult the original 
will find the singular, not the plural, is made use of Ps. 
xhii. 1, O clap your hands, your hand, all ye people, p 
Upn CD'D^'n S:d kol haammeem tikeoo kaf, shout unto God 
with the voice of triumph ; and in like manner, 2 Kings 
xi. 12, He brought forth the king^s son, and put the crown 
upon him, and gave him the testimony; and they madt 
him king and anointed him ; and clapt their hands, but 
in the original they clapt the hand, and said, God save 
the king. 

We use the terra clap, but sometimes, where the word 
hand is used in the singular number, it is joined with a 
verb that strongly expresses an applying the hand with 
softness, wherever it is that we suppose the hand, in such 
cases, is applied, and consequently the term c/ap I think, 
should not be the word made use of, in translating these 
passages, at least without a softening epithet. So Is. Iv. 12, 
The mountains and the hills shall break forth into sing-' 
ing, and all the trees of the field shall clap, or gently ap- 
ply the hand, not their hands. ^'^ For the word is used 
for blotting out what is written in a book, by applying 
water to it. Num. v. 23, which is wont to be done with a 
sponge, or some other soft substance ; and for compas- 
sionately wiping away tears from the face, Is. xxv. 8 ; 

* '*jD Iv^nD"* yimchaoo kaf. The root nn?3 machah, signifies to wipe^ 
siuootli off, sweep away, and seems to signify, in some of the above passa- 
ges, that action which dumb persons make use of when they wish to ex- 
press a thing done or finished, a person who is gone away, gone oft', or a 
thing that is lost : they hold the left hand opeu in a horizontal position, 
nnd then with the open right hand, wipe it off smartly from the palm to the 
Hnger ends. I have seea the Asiatics use this form when they wished more 
forcibly to express that a thing was over, gone, finished, ended, &e. Edit. 

The same word is used Ps. xcviii. 2, and hand is in the singular "number ; 
and both these observations are, in like manner, applicable to F,zek. xxv. 
6, where indeed the joy Avas not of that placid kind, which the expression 
commonly imports. Harm. 


and consequenllj must signifj, one would imagine, a gen- 
tle application of the hand somewhere, and therefore prob- 
ably to the mouth, according to the present Eastern mode, 
among the women, of testifying joy.* 



The dancing and playing on instruments of music, be- 
fore persons of distinction, when they pass near Ihe dwell- 
ing places of such as are engaged in country business, still 
continue in the East. 

When the Baron de Tott was sent by the French gov- 
ernment, to inspect the factories of (hat nation in the Le- 
vant, having proceeded from Egypt to the maritime cities 
of Syria, he went from them to Aleppo, and returning 
from thence to Alexandretta, in order to visit Cyprus, 
and some other places of which he has given an account 
in his memoirs, he tells us, that between Aleppo and Al- 
exandretta,! he saw on a sudden, the troop the governor 
of Aleppo had sent with him, to escort him, turn back and 
ride toward him. " The commander of the detachment J 
then showed me the tents of the Turcomen, pitched on 
the banks of the lake, near which we were to pass. It 
was no easy task to keep my company in good spirits, 
within sight of six or seven thousand Asiatics, whose 
peaceable intentions were at least doubtful." 

* The female mode of expressing esultation is termed the Ziraleet in 
Syria : it is a sharp loud cry of joy, made in concert by a quick and some- 
Av hat tremulous application of the tongue to the palate, producing tlie sound 
heli li U li li U li li .• or Lille, Me, lille, pronounced as often as a person 
can do in one breath. It seems to be a corruption of the Mohammedan 
confession of faith. La Ullah ilia ullah : there is no god but 
God, which in the rapid shx-ill pronunciation of the women might be easily 
converted into the Lille lille of the Ziraleet. See Russell, vol. i. page 140, 
and 383. Edit. 

t Two well known cities of Syria. ± Consisting of a hundred hot-semen. 


<' I took care to cover my escort with my small troop 
of Europeans; and we conlinued to march on, in this or- 
der, which had no very hostile appearance, when we per- 
ceived a motion in the enemy's camp, from which several 
of the Turcomen advanced to meet us, and 1 soon had 
the musicians of the different hordes, playing; and dancing 
before me all the time we were passing by the side of 
their camp."-'^ 

The translation does not determine, whether these mu- 
sicians were of the male or female sex ; but I doubt not 
but that it would appear, on consulting the original 
French, that Ihey were women that played and danced 
before M. de Tott, the French inspector, while passing 
along the side of that large encampment. 

We cannot after this wonder at the account of the sa- 
cred historian,! that when Saul and David were returning 
from the slaughter of Goliah, the great hero of the Philis- 
tines, the women came out of all the cities of Israel, sing-- 
ing and dancing to meet king Saul, with iabrets, with 
joy, and with instruments of music <, That is, as I ap- 
prehend, the women of the several villages of Israel near 
which he passed, in returning to his settled abode, univer- 
sally paid him the honor of singing and playing before him 
for some considerable way, while he passed along in the 
road near to them. All Israel were engaged in rural em- 
ployments, as well as these Turcomen, 

De Tott ascribes the honors paid him by these Asiat- 
ics to the hope of a reward: "I took leave of them, by 
presenting them with that reward, the hope of which had 
brought them to attend us, and with which they were 
very civil to go away contented. "J I would remark, 
that the Eastern princes sometimes cause money to be 
scattered in processions on joyful occasions, according tp 
this very writer ;|| however the satisfaction that succeed- 

* Memoirs, part iv. page 131, 132 t 1 Sam. xviii. 6. 

i Pa^e 132. I) Part i. page 123, 12^. 


ed great terror, upon the death of Goliab, was enou2;h to 
engage the Israelilish women universally to pay this hon- 
or to their own king, and an heroic youth of (heir own 
nalion, who had been the instrument of effecting such a 
great salvation for their country, without any lucrative 
considerations whatever. 



The Eastern dances, wilh which the great in those 
countries have been sometimes honored, are extemporar 
neous, if I may be indulged the expression, as well as their 

1 have elsewhere taken notice of the extemporaneous- 
ness of their songs; and I will here set down a passage, 
from the letters of lady Wortley Montague, which shows 
their dances are equally free, " Their manner of dancing 
is certainly the same that Diana is said to have danced on 
the banks of Eurotas. The great lady still leads the 
dance, and is followed by a troop of young girls, who imi- 
tate her steps, and if she sings, make up the chorus. 
The tunes are extremely gay and lively, yet with somc' 
thing in them wonderfully soft. The steps are varied 
according to the pleasure of her that leads the dance, but 
always in exact time, and infinitely more agreeable than 
any of our dances, at least in my opinion. I sometimes 
make one in the train, but am not skilful enough to lead. 
These are the Grecian dances, the Turkish being very 

This gives us a different apprehension of the meaning 
of the words in Exod. xv. 20, than we should otherwise 
form: Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took 
a timbrel in her hand, and all the women went out after 
her, with timbrels and dances. She led the dance ; 

* Vol. ii. pagje 48, 40. 

326 OF ho:noring sapEUioRS. 

ihey imitated her steps, which were not conducted by a 
set well known form, as with us, but extemporaneous. 
Probably David did not dance alone before the Lord, 
when the ark was removed, but led the dance in the same 
authoritative kind of way. ^ 

Lady Montague was so struck with this Eastern man- 
agement, though she cites Homer, and tells us these were 
Grecian dances, yet she could not help observing too, 
that these Eastern manners give great light into passages 
of Scripture. 



When Jeremiah speaks of the changing the stillness of 
desolation, into the voice of joy and gladness, where nu- 
merous inhabitants dwell, and mentions among others, the 
voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the 6riJe,f we 
certainly are not to understand him of the bridegroom, 
and still less of the bride, personally considered; but of 
their attendants. Ybuthful modesty would lead us to 
such an interpretation, had the Prophet been speaking of 
these western parts of the world ; but the decencies of 
Eastern life absolutely require such an explanation. 

" There being nothing very material,'' says Dr. Rus- 
sell, "in the ceremonies of the different sects, I shall give 
the description of a Maronite wedding, which will serve as 
a specimen of the rest. 

" After the bride has been demanded, the relations of 
the bridegroom are invited to an entertainment at the 
house of the bride's father, in order to consult with her 
relations, for the young folks themselves have no vote in 
such affairs, nor are ever seen, concerning the proper day 
for celebrating the wedding ; and it is almost always 
agreed on for that day fortnight. On the appointed day, 

* 3 Sam. vi. 24, 25. f Ch. xxxiii. 11. 


in the afternoon, Ihey again go to the bride's house ; and, 
having supped there, return to that of the bridegroom^ 
who hi(herto has not appeared, though some little inquiry 
has been made after him ; for he is by custom obliged to 
bide himself, or at least is not to be found without a seem- 
ingly strict search. When he is brought out dressed 
in his worst clothes, great noise and rejoicings are then 
made on the finding him ; and he and the bridesman, 
after being led several times round the court yard, in noisy 
procession, are carried into a room, where their wedding 
clothes, are laid out in form. A priest says a long prayer 
over them ; and, being dressed, they are led back info the 
court yard with the same ceremony as before. 

"At midnight, or a few hours later, the relations, ac- 
companied by all that have been invited to the wedding, 
men and women, return once more to the house where the 
bride is, in procession, each carrying a candle, and music 
playing before them. When they come to the door, it 
is shut upon them^ and Avhen they knock and demand 
the bride, they are refused admittance. Upon this ensues 
a mock fight, but the bridegroom's party always prevails. 
The women then go to the bride's chamber, lead her oat 
veiled quite over, and in the like procession carry her to 
the bridegroom's ; but not more than one or two of her 
sisters, or nearest female relations, must accompany her. 
She is there set down at the upper end of the room among 
the women, continues veiled with a red gauze, and must 
sit like a statue, neither moving nor speaking on any ac- 
count, except rising to every person that com^into the 
room, which is notified to her by one of the women who 
sits by her constantly, for she must not open he°r eyes. 
The rest of the night is spent by each sex in their separate ^'^ 
apartments in noisy mirth, eating fruits and sweetmeats, ''X, 
there being no want of wine and arrack. Some few retire 
to rest. 

"The next day, about nine in the morning, the Bishop 
or priest comes to perform the ceremony. The ceremony 


being finished, the bridegroom and all the men, retire 
agr\i.n to their proper apartment, where they drink coffee^ 
and sit v^ry gravely while the Bishop remains, which is 
not loag ; for dinner being served up immediately for 
Lira, and a few select people of the company, he soon 
dines, and takes his leave ; and he is scarcely gone a few 
yards from the housCj before their noisy mirth begins. 
Great quantities of victuals are dressed, and several tables 
covered, both for dinner and supper; and there is usually 
a profusion of tobacco, coffee, and arrack. 

** About eleven or twelve at night, the bridegroom is 
led in procession to the bride's chamber, where he pre- 
sents her with a glass of wine, in which she drinks fo him, 
and he returns the compliment : after this he is carried 
back again with the same ceremony. 

"The music, during the whole of the time, continues 
to play, buffoons and other of their diversions are going 
forward, and the house is usually full of company till the 
next day in the afternoon, when they take their leave, 
all but a few intimate friends, who sup with the bride- 
groom, and about midnight leave him heartily fatigued to 
retire to the bride's chamber. 

"All those that have been invited to the wedding send 
presents ; and for several days after the marriage is con- 
summated, quantities of flowers are sent to the bride by 
^\\ the women of their acquaintance."* 



Besides the voice of domestic gladness and joy on nup- 
tial occasions, instead of the melancholy silence of deso- 
lation, which Jeremiah assured them should be heard 
again in that country, and which was to take place not only 
?n Jerusalem, but in the other Jewish cities, the Prophet 

* Descript. of Aleppo, vol. ii. page 48. 


seems fo me to assure them there should be a return of 
seasons of rejoicing on public occasions, sucli as victory 
over enemies; as also of (he music and the songs wont to 
attend the presenting peace offerings before God : Again 
ihfre shall be heard in Ihis place, the voice of joy and 
the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and 
the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say 
Praise the Lord of Hosts, for the Lord is good, for 
his mercy endureth for ever ; and of them that shall bring 
the sacrifice of praise into the house of the JjORn* Jer. 
XKxiii. 10, 11. 

There is something pleasing in this enumeration of par- 
ticulars, if we consider them as expressive of rejoicing oa 
domestic, public, and sacred occasions. 

It is certain that when Jehoshaphat led forth Judah to 
assured victory, he made use of such a form of praise as we 
find in the middle of this verse : Upon Jeha::iel, the son of 
Zechariah, Src. came the Spirit of the Lord in the midst of 
the congregation : And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, 
and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehosha- 
phat, Thus sailh the Lord unto you, be not afraid nor 
dismayed, by reason of this great multitude ; for the 
battle is not your^s, but God's. And when he, Jehosha- 
phat, had consulted with the people, he appointed singers 
mito the Lord, and that should praise the beauty ofhoU- 
7iess,^ as they went out before the army, and to say^ 
Praise the Lord, for his mercy endureth for ever, 2 Chr. 
XX. 14 — 21. He and his people, after the aiTair was ac- 
tually accomplished, assembled together in or near the 
place where their enemies were slaughtered, to praise the 
Lord, and afterward went in solemn procession to Jerusa- 
lem, with joy it is said, with psalteries, and harps, and 
trumpets unto the house of the Lord, ver. 26, 27, 20. 
And as no account is given of any new formulary of thanks- 

* The temple : -which Gor> honored, as the place where he was found 
to be a present help iu time of trouble, and \vhit:h holy pluce was remark- 
able for its btauty. 

TOL. II, 42 


giving, probably the same was made use of as in their fii-5t 
outset : Praise the Lord, /or his mercy endurethfor ever. 

These sounds of joy and gladness might as well be 
heard in the other cilies of Judea, as in Jerusalem, as 
well as those accompanying nuptial solemnities. Je- 
hoshaphat seems to have passed through the cities of his 
country wilh music and with hymns to Jerusalem. So 
the women went out from their several cities to meet king 
Saul, when he returned from the slaughter of Goliath, with 
singing and dancing, with tabrets, with joy, and instru- 
ments of music, 1 Sam. xviii. 6. But could the third 
sort, relating to the bringing the sacrifice of praise into 
the house of the Lord, be heard in the cities of Judab, 
as well as in the streets of Jerusalem?^ 

Such a supposition, I would answer, is not necessary. 
It was sufficient if the sounds of joy in general were heard 
from time to time through the country, without supposing 
that every species of gladness should appear in every 

However it is not at all improbable, that the music and 
the hymns attending the bringing the sacrifice of praise 
to the temple were heard in other cities, as well as in the 
streets of Jerusalem, and that the gladness of the heart 
mentioned by Isaiah, when people rvent with a pipe, to 
go into the mountain of the Lord, to the mighty one of 
Israelyf might be heard in the town from whence they 
set out, and in the cities through which they passed, as 
well as when they entered the holy city. 

I do not remember that Lightfoot has given any ac- 
count of the music attending them, at any other time 
when they carried their oblations to the Temple, but when 
they passed along the streets of Jerusalem: but when we 
consider how common the use of music is now in the East, 
and what in particular is practised there in their sacred 
journies, I should suppose music and hymns attended 
their setting out with oblations to the house of God, and 

* Sec ver. 10, of Jer. xxxiii. | Chap. xxx. 29. 


that the like sounds of joj and gladness attended them 
as thej passed through their towns, more especially if it 
was the sacrifice of some more eminent personage, or of 
some considerable body of people. 

So Pitts tells us, that into whatsoever town of Barbary 
the caravan for Mecca enters, the leader is received with 
a great deal of joy, because he his going about so religious 
a work. He goes attended with flags; kettle drums, and 
loud acclamations, do, as it were rend the skies. ^ 



The music of great men in civil life, has been sometimes 
directed to persons of a sacred character, as an expres- 
sion of respect, in the East : perhaps the playing of the 
minstrel before the Prophet Elisha is to be understood, 
in part, at least, in something of the same manner. 

When Dr. Richard Chandler was at Athens, the Arch- 
bishop of that city was upon ill terms with its Vaiwode, 
and the Greeks in general siding with the Vaiwode, the 
Archbishop was obliged to withdraw for a time; but 
some time after, v/hen Chandler and his fellow travellers 
were at Corinth, they were informed that the Archbishop 
was returned to Atiiens ; that the Bey or Vaiwode had 
received him kindly, and ordered his musicians to attend 
hina at his palace; and that a complete revolution had 
happened in his favour. f 

Here we see a civil magistrate, who had been displeased 
with a great ecclesiastic, sent his musicians to play at his 
archiepiscopal palace, in honor of him to whom this mag- 
istrate was now reconciled. Elisha might require that a 
like honor should be done to him, and through him to the 
God whom he served, who had been sadly neglected and 
affronted in former times by the king of Israel. The 

* Page 85. t Travels in Greece, page 344, 


proprielj of it will appear in a slili stronger light, if we 
should suppose, that Elisba commanded the rninstrel to 
sing, along with his music, a hymn to Jehovah, setting 
forth his being a God that gave rain, that preserved such 
as were ready to perish, the giver of victory, and whose 
power ivas neither limiled to his Temple, nor to the Jew- 
ish counlry sacred to him, but equally operative in every 

The coming of the spirit of prophecy upon Elisha, en- 
abling him to declare a speedy copious fall of rain in that 
neighbourhood, and a complete victory over their enemies, 
immediately upon the submissive compliance of this idola- 
trous prince with the requisition of the Prophet, and such 
a hymn in praise of the God of Israel, seerus to me full as 
natural an interpretation, as the supposing he desired the 
minstrel to come in order to plaj- some soft composing 
tune, to calm his rJitHed spirits, and to qualify him for the 
reception of the influences of the spirit of prophecy. 

Was a warm and pungent zeal against the idolatries of 
Jehoram a disqualifying disposition of soul ?'^ and if it 
were, was mere music the happiest mode of inviting the 
divine influences? Yet after this manner, I think, it has 
been commonly explained. f 

Singing was, and is so frequently joined wilh the sound 
of musical instruments in the East, that I apprehend no 
one will thhik it strange, that I suppose the minstrel sung 
as well as played in the presence of Elisha :J and when it 
is recollected that their songs are very frequently extem- 
poraneous, it is natural to suppose ihe Prophet required 
something to be sung, suitable both to his character and 
to the occasion. 

The anger of Ellslia, occasioned by the profune mockery of some un- 
happy youths, did not prevent liis propheticiilly declaring the vengeance 
of God upon them, which eiFectually took place, 2 Kings ii. 23, 24, 

t See Bishop Patrick on the place. 

i 1 Sam. xxiii. G, 7, Is. xxiii. 15, 16, Ps. xcviii. 5, &c. Shaw tome i 

part S; § 4. 




Though mean people in travelling might make use of 
trees for shelter from the heat, we may perhaps think it 
almost incredible that kings should not imagine that either 
proper houses would be marked out for their reception; 
or if that could not be conveniently done in some of their 
routs, that at least they would have tents carried along 
with them, as persons of more than ordinary rank and 
condition are supposed by Dr. Shaw now to do.^ For 
these reasons we may possibly have been extremely sur- 
prised at fhat passage concerning Saul, 1 Sam. xxii. 6, 
Now Saul abode in Gibeah, under a tree in Ramah, or, 
according to the margin, under a grove in an high place, 
having his spear in his hand^ and all his servants were 
standing about him. Yet strange as this may appear 
to us, it is natural enough according to the present cus- 
toms of the East, where we know the solemnity and aw^ 
fulness of superiority is kept up as high as ever. 

Thus when Dr. Pococke was travelling in the compa- 
ny of the governor of Faiume, who was treated wilh great 
respect as he passed along, they passed one night, he tells 
i3s,f in a grove of palm trees. The governor might, no 
doubt, had he pleased, have lodged in some village; but 
he ralher chose a place which we think very odd for a 
person of figure. The position of Saul, which was on a 
high place according to the margin, reminds me of another 
passage of this author,.1: where he gives us an account o.f 
the going out of the Caya, or lieutenant of the governor 
of Meloui, on a sort of Arab expedition, toward a place 
where there was an ancient temple, attended by many 
people with kettle drums and other music: the Doctor 
visited that temple, and upon his return from it went to 

* Pref. page 8. f Vol. i. page 56. :j; Page 127 


the Caja, he says, " whose carpet and cushions were laid 
on an height, on which he sat wilh the standard by him, 
which is carried before him when he goes out in this man- 
ner. I sat down with him, and coffee was broiighl ; the 
Sadar himself,* came after as incognito." Saul seems, 
by the description given, as well as by the following part 
of the history, to have been pursuing affer David, and 
stopping, to have placed himself according (o the present 
Oriental mode in the posture of chief. Whether the 
spear in his hand, or at his hand, as i( might be translated 
.according to Noldius, and as appears by the use of that 
prefix in Ezek. x. 15, was the same thing to Saul's peo- 
ple that the standard was to those of the Caj'a, 1 know 
not: if it was, there is a third thing in this text ilhistraled 
by the Doctor's accounts, the stopping under a tree or 
grove; the stoppi7ig on a high place ; and the sacred 
historian's remark, that he had his spear by him. It is 
certain, that when along pike is carried before a company 
of Arabs, it is a mark that an Arab Sheik, or prince, is 
there, which pike is carried before him ; and when he 
alights, and the horses are fastened, the pike is fixed, as 
appears by a story in Norden. 



Norden tells us,f that when he and his company were 
at Essuaen, an express arrived there, despatched by an 
Arab prince, who brought a letter directed to the Reys, 
or master of their barque, enjoining him not to set out 
with his barque, or carry them any further; adding, that 
in a day's time he should be at Essuaen, and there would 
give his orders relative to them. " The letter, however 
according to the usage of the Turks," says this author, 

* That is, the governor. f Vol. ii. page 8. See also page 71. 


" was open : and as tbe Reys was not on board, the pilot 
carried if to one of our fathers to read it."* 

Sanbaliat*s sending his servant with an open letter, 
which is mentioned Neh. vi, 5, does not appear an odd 
thing ; but if it was according to their usages, why is this 
circumstance complained of, as it visibly is ? Why indeed 
is it mentioned at all ? Why ! Because, however the 
sending letters open to common people may be customary 
in these countries, it is not according to their usages to send 
them so to p«eopIe of distinction. So Dr. Pococke, in his 
account of that very country where Norden was when 
this letter was brought, gives us, among other things, in 
the 57th plate, the figure of a Turkish letter put into a 
satin bag, to be sent to a great man, with a paper tied to 
it directed and sealed, and an ivory button tied on the 
wax. So lady Montague says, the basha of Belgrade's 
answer to the English ambassador, going to Constantino- 
ple, was brought to him in a purse of scarlet satin. f 

The great emir indeed of the Arabs, according fo 
d'Arvieux, was not wont to enclose his letters in these 
bags, any more than to have them adorned with flourishes ; 
but that is supposed to have been owing to the unpolite- 
ness of the Arabs ; and he tells us, that when he acted 
as secretary to the emir, he supplied these defects, and 
that his doing so was highly acceptable to the emir.J 
Had this open letter then come from Geshem, who was 
an Arab,H it might have passed unnoticed; but as it was 
from Sanballat, the enclosing it in a handsome bag was a 
ceremony Nehemiah had reason to expect from him, 
since he was a person of distinction in the Persian court, 
and then governor of Judea ; and the not doing it was the 
greatest insult, insinuating, that though Nehemiah was ac- 
cording to him, preparing to assume the royal dignity, he 
should be so far from acknowledging him in that character, 

• Pi«ge 109. t Letters, vol. i. page 13G. t Yoy. dans la Pal. paj^e 5S. 
!| Nch. vi. 1. 


that he would not even pay him the compliment due to 
every person of distinction,^ 

If this is the true representation of the affair, commen- 
tators have given but a poor account of it. Sanballat sent 
him a message, says one of them, " pretending, it is like- 
ly, special respect and kindness unto him, in informing 
him what was laid to his charge." 



We were speaking lately of Saul, and some marks of 
dignity by which he was distinguished in his pursuit af- 
ter David, if we may put that construction upon Ihem 
which modern Eastern customs leads us to; and (hat en- 
gages me to take notice of another circumstance of that 
sort which commentators have been equally silent about, 
and that is, his wearing a bracelet at the time of his death. 
This I take to have been an ensign of royalty ; and in 
that view, \ suppose, we are to understand the account 
that is given us, of the Amalekite's bringing the bracelet 
that he found on Saul's arm, along with his crown, to Da- 
vid, 2 Sam.i. 10. 

It is not impossible that this bracelet might be no part 
of the regalia of the kingdom of Israel, but merely a thing 
of value which Saul had about him, and which that stran- 
ger thought fit to present with his crown to David; but it 
seems rather to be mentioned as a royal ornament : and it 
is certain it has been since used in the East as a badge of 
power. For when the Calif Cayem Bemrillah granted 
the investiture of certain dominions to an Eastern prince, 

* The MS. &c. gives us a like account of the Eastern letters, adding tliis 
circumstance, " that those that are unenclosed, as sent to common peo- 
ple, are usually rolled up ; in which form their paper commonly appears." 
Note on Jer. xxxvi i2. A letter in the form of a small roll of paper would 
appear very odd in our eyes, but it seems is common there. 

I have seen several of Tippoo Saheob's letters which were done up in 
this way. Kbit. 


i.vhich bis predecessors had possessed, and among the 
rest of the citj of Bagdad itself, it is said this ceremony 
of investiture was performed by the califs sending him 
letters patent, a crown, a chain, and bracelets,=^ 

I do not however find that any of the commentators 
have taken Saul's bracelet in this light. All the obser- 
vation that Grotius makes upon it is, that it was an orna- 
ment used by the men as well as women of those nations, 
upon which he cites Num. xxxi. 50. 

The ornament, however, probably was not so common 
as we may have been ready to suppose ; for though the 
word bracelet is frequently to be met with in our transla- 
tion, the original word in this text occurs at most but 
in two other places ; and as the children of Israel found 
one or more of these bracelets among the spoils of Midian, 
so they killed at the same time five of their kings. Num. 
xxxi. <>. The place indeed speaks of female ornaments, 
Isai. iii. 20 ; but if the word is the same, might not the 
women of that age wear an ornament which, from its like- 
ness to one of the ensigns of royalty, might be called by 
the same name, as in some counlries of lafef brides ha\e 
worn an ornament which has been called a crown, though 
that word indisputably, long before that time, marked out 
the chief badge of royal dignity ? 



The slaughter of Saul filled his camp with terror and 
mourning : before that, it is probable, his tent might some- 
times be distinguished by lights; at least these illumina- 
tions are now used in those countries to do honor to 
princes, and must not here be forgotten. 

* D*Herbelot, page 541. 

t Voyages faits en Moscovie par Olearius, page 238. 
TOL. II. 43 


So the tent of the Bey of Girge, Norden tells us/^ wasr 
distinguished from the other tents in that encampment by 
forty lanterns, suspended before it in form of checker 
work. So Thevenot describing the reception of the new 
Basha of Egypt under tents, near Cairo, says there were 
two great trees, on which two hundred lamps hung, at the 
gate of the little enclosure which surrounded his pavilions, 
which were lighted in the night time; and that there was 
the same before the tents of the principal officers, as in 
the caravan of Mecca. f 

In the East it is now a customary thing; if it was the 
same anciently, perhaps the words of Job might refer to 
it, ch. xxix. 2, 3, Oh ! that it were with me as in months 
past, as in the days when God preserved me : when his 
candle shined upon my head, when I returned prosperous 
from expeditions against the enemies of my tribe, and had 
my tent adorned with lamps, and I passed through the 
night by the light of it. 

As to illuminating their houses on cccasiolis of joy, I 
liave elsewhere given an account of it, 



Chains about the necks of their camels are mentioned 
in Judges viii. 26, as a part of the ornaments belonging to 
the kings of Midian, which were given to Gideon. 

Perhaps these chains were like those Bishop Pococke 
saw in Egypt, hanging from the bridles of the Agasof the 
seven military bodies of that country, to the breastplates 
of the animals on which they rode, in the grand proces- 
sion of the caravan about setting out for Mecca. J Only 
these were of silver, whereas those of the Midianitish 
kings were of gold. They were however both, apparently, 

* Part ii. page 45. f P«i't i* pag- ISC', ^ Vol. i. page 264- 


marks of distinction and grandeur; and, probably, were 
worn in the same manner. 



An umbrella is a very ancient, as well as honorable de« 
fence against the pernicious effects of the scorching beams 
of the sun, in those sultry countries; may we not then 
suppose, this is that kind of shade the Psalmist refers to 
in the 121st Psalm ? ver. 5, The Lord is thy keeper : 
the Lord is thy shade on thy right hand. The sun shall 
not smite thee by day^ nor the moon by night. 

Niebuhr who visited the southern part of Arabia, gives 
us the following account of a solemn procession of the 
Iman that resides at Sana, who is a great prince in that 
part of Arabia, and considered as a holy personage, being 
descended from Mohammed their great prophet. It is 
well known, that the Sultan at Constantinople goes every 
Friday* to the mosque, if his health will at all admit of it. 
The Iman of Sana observes also this religious practice, 
with vast pomp. We only saw him in his return, because 
this was represented to ns as the most curious part of the 
solemnity, on account of the long circuit he then takes, 
and the great number of his attendants, after their having 

performed their devotions in other mosques The 

Iman was preceded by some hundreds of soldiers. He, 
and each of the princes of his numerous family, caused a 
mdalla, or large umbrella, to be carried by his side, and 
it is a privilege which, in this country, is appropriated to 
princes of the blood,f just as the Sultan of Constantino- 

• The Sabbath day of all the Mohammedans. 

f So at page 305, he tells us, he saw a young prince at Sana, who had 
been dispossessed of some territories enjoyed by his father and grandfather, 
who had his umbrella carried at his side, as he went on horseback to the 
mosque, one Friday. 


pie permits none but his vizier to have his kaik, or goiir 
dola, covered behind, to keep him from the heat of thq 
sun. They say that in the other provinces of Yeraeny 
the independent lords, such for example as the sheiks of 
Jafa, and those of Haschid u Bekil ; the Scherif of Abu 
Arisch, and many others, cause these mdallas in like 
manner to be carried for their use, as a mark of their in- 
dependence. Besides the princes, the Iman had in his 
train at least six hundred lords of the most distinguishec^ 
rank, as well ecclesiastics as seculars, and those of the 
military line, many of them mounted on superb horses, 
and a great multitude of people attended him on foot. On 
each side of the Iman was carried a flag, different from 
ours, in that each of them was surmounted with a little 
silver vessel like a censer.^ It is said that within some 
charms were put, to which they attributed a power of 
making the Iman invincible. Many other standards were 
unfurled with the same censer like vessels, but without 
any regularity. In one word, the whole train was numer- 
ous, and in some measure magnificent, but no order seem- 
ingly was observed."! 

It appears by the carvings at Persepolis, umbrellas 
were very anciently used by the Eastern princes : 
charms, we have reason to believe, were at least as an- 
cient: may we not, with some degree of probability, sup- 
pose then this 121st Psalm refers to these umbrellas, 
where the response made, probably, by the ministers of 
the sanctuary, to the declaration of the king, in the two 
first verses, reminded him that Jehovah would be to 
him all that heathen princes hoped for, as to defence and 
honor, from their royal umbrellas and their sacred charms^ 
but hoped for in vain, as to them ? The Lord shall be 
thy shade on thy right hand. The sun shall not smite 
thee by day nor the moon by night.'l 

* IJne petite cassolette d'argent. ' ^ Voy. tome i. page SS7. 

^ Tiiere is now before me the coronet of a Mohammedan clnef from the 
interior of Africa. It is suirounde«l with a number of scpall cushions^ eacit 




The fealhers of herons and ostriches are now used, in 
these countries of the East, by way of ornament, and 
more especially in times of rejoicing; it is reasonable to 
believe (he same obtained anciently, and perhaps as far 
back as the time of Job. 

The Turks, who, according to Baron de Tott, make 
pomp the characteristic of their nation,^ make great use 
of these two sorts of feathers in days of parade. Thus 
this writer, in describing what answers among them to the 
solemnity of a coronation, tells us, that one set of officers, 
■who appeared in that procession, wore an ostrich's feather 
on the side of their turbans ;f and that the led horses of 
the Grand Seignior were covered with very rich trappings 
trailing on the ground, leaving nothing to be seen but the 
Lead of the animal, of which the front was ornamented by 
a large plume of heron feathers. J Attendants of another 
description are said to have worn plumes of feathers shaped 
like a fan, above which towered those the Grand Seignior 
himself bore. 

De Tott has not told us what kind of feathers these 
last were, but other authors have informed us, that they 
are those of herons that the Turkish emperor himself 
wears in his turban, at least upon other solemn occasions. 
So when Thevenot saw him riding in state, upon occasion 
of the coming of an ambassador to him from the Great 
Mogul, he wore in his cap two black heron's tops, adorn 

about thrive inches long, two broad, and one thick ; curiosity led me to ex- 
amine their contents, and I found them to contain a number of spells and 
charms for the protection of the wearer. They are slips of paper filled 
with diagrams, and select portions of the Koran, in the African niskh ch^r- 
acter. Edit. 

* Memoirs, part i. page 2r.5. t Page tl9. \ Page 121, 122. 


ed with large stones, above two fingers high; the one 
stood upright, and the other pointed downward.^ 

Such great use is made of ostrich feathers, that Maillet 
makes it an article of commerce, in the account Le gives 
of what is imported into Egypt bj the caravan from Nu- 
bia,! which brings with it the merchandise of Ethiopia. 
" One can hardly believe," lie says, " the riches it con- 
tains. From divers parts of Africa it brings hither gold 
dust, elephants' teeth, ebony, musk, civet, ambergris, os- 
trich feathers, several kinds of gum, and an infinity of other 
valuable merchandise. But its most considerable com- 
merce consists of two or three thousand blacks, which the 
caravans bring to sell in Egypt, each of which, taking 
them one with another, is not worth less to his master 
than 200 livres.^J 

Herons' feathers, however, are not a discriminating 
mark of royalty, and confined to the heads of princes and 
of their horses ; Thevenot saw them on the head of the 
new Basha of Egypt when he made his entry into Grand 
Cairo, " He wore a chiaoux cap, with two black heron's 
tops standing upright upon it.[| But they are, I think, 
only worn in times of prosperity. At least Thevenot 
remarks, that when his predecessor quitted that govern- 
ment, and departed in a solemn procession, " he wore on 
his head a chiaoux cap, but without a heron's top."§ 

As feathers are made use of among the Turks, so they 
are used we find among the modern Arabs too. When 
de la Roque put himself into the dress of an Arab of fig- 
ure, he had an ostrich feather near the top of his lance ;5f 
and when the French gentlemen that waited on the king 
of Yemen, on account of the coffee trade, saw the pro- 
cession that attended him to his public devotions on the 

* Travels, part i. book x. ch. Ivii. f Lett. xiii. page 197. 

t About eight guineas. There is a mistake here certainly; perhaps 
{^here should have been another cypher. 

f) Part i. book ii. ch. 23, § Chap. xv. 

^ Voy. dans la Palestine, page 4. 


sacred day of the Mohammedans, they observed fifty 
horses, richly caparisoned, were led in view of the way 
in which he was to pass, and as many camels perfectly 
well equipped, which had on their heads large tufls of 
black ostrich feathers. This was all for parade, and to 
do honor to the sacred day, for they were only led before 
him, and several times round the place where he perform- 
ed his devotions, and put to no other iise.^' 

If then the Arabs of our days make use of feathers in 
times of joyful and sacred parade ; it is by no means un- 
natural or difficult to suppose, that the Arabs of elder 
times might do the same, and even the Arabs of the land 
of Uz in the age of Job : since they are allowed to be a 
people that have as mucJ], or more than any, retained 
their old customs, on the one hand ; and since, on the other, 
the adorning themselves with the most beautiful feath- 
ers of the birds of their respective countries, is the com- 
mon practice of those nations that are the most remote 
from our njodes of civilization, and most nearly approach 
the state of mankind in the first and rudest ages. The 
way of adorning themselves made use of by niany of the 
wild tribes of America, as well as that of the inhabitants 
of many of the new discovered islands of the South Seas, 
are an incontrovertible proof of it. 

If so, the translation that Aquila has given us, of a 
clause of a very difficult verse of the book of Job, may 
be allowed to be sufficiently easy and natural. The verse 
is the 13th of the xxxixth chapter, and is thus translated 
in our version : Gavest thou the goodly wings imto the 
peacock.^ or wings and feathers unto the ostrich J' or, 
according to the marginal translation of the last clause, 
the feathers of the stork and ostrich. 

Great objections have been made to this translation, 
and very justly. They are not the wings of the peacock 
that are remarkably goodly, but the tail^ nor is it the 
same Hebrew word elsewhere translated peacocks, but a 

* Voy. de 1' Arabic Heiireuse, page 21 j. 


very different one. It is not then at all probable that 
peacocks were meant here. 

Aquila, who has given us an ancient Greek translation 
of the Old Testament, and who is said to ha\e been ex- 
quisitely skilled in the original language, and to ha^ e aimed 
at a very literal verson,* has thus translated the first 
clause of this verse, Uri^vyiov ocivi<vTuv cuvavaTrAgjcs/, which 
words may be difficidt to iranslaie inJo E.iglish with ener- 
gy, perspicuity, and conciseness, but seem to mean, the 
tuft of feathers which somewhat resembles a rving^, and 
which those that are in a state of joy and thanksgiving 
wear, pleasingly intermixing its filaments when quivering 
from the motion given it. 

The Septuagint themselves, who have declined trans- 
lating the third word, which Aquila thought meant inter- 
tveaving, or somewhat of that kind, translate the two first 
words riTg^ul Tg^TTo^gvwv, ** the wing of those that are de- 
lighted." And this is the natural sense of the two first 
words of the original, viz, a'J3"i ^:d kenaf rananeem. 

Now what can the wing, or the conlexture of feathers 
resembling a wingj of those that are in a state of delisrhtj 
or of disposedness to praise, more naturally mean, than 
those tufts of ostrich or heron feathers that are now so 
commonly worn in those countries, when in such a state. 
To which is to be added, that both those creatures are, I 
think, with certainty spoken of in the words immediately 
following : the m^DH chasidah^-f which seems to signify the 
heron as well as the stork, comprising both species in that 
single word of description, J in the latter clause of this 

* Carpzovii, Crit. Sac. page 553 — 560. 

t The Hebrew is as follows : ni3« DX nobp: O^JJI i]:D Hlf Jl 
m^DH kenaf renaneein nealosah im ebroah chaseedah venotsah ; which 
Montanus translates thus : Ala exultantium Utta ; an penna ciconice et 
pluma ? Edit. 

+ For the chasidah is said, in Psalm civ. 17, to make the fir trees her 
house, as other birds made th^ir nests in the cedars of Lebanon, which 
does not appear to be a just description of the stork, properly speaking, 
but truly represents the natural history, in that point, of the heron. It 


13th verse ; and the ostrich indisputably in the short his- 
tory given of this animal in the succeeding verses, and 
which satisfies me, must be meant by the last word of 
the 13th verse, which the Septuagint leaves untranslated^ 
using the word l^io-a-oc to express the Hebrew term. 

JNor can this be thought a harsh supposilion, if we ob- 
serve, that one of the three senses of the Hebrew root, 
according to BuxtorfF, is to be laid waste; a noun formed 
from it then may very naturally signify the bird that is 
the most remarkable of any, by far^ for living in desert 
and waste places =^ 

I may add, that the celebrated Dr. Shaw, who supposes 
that the first clause speaks of the wing of the ostrich, not 
of the wing of those that rejoiced, yet understands the 
last word of the three of that first clause not as signifying 
goodly^ as our translators do, but quivering or expanded, 
as the very learned Schultens also does: which agrees as 
well with what happens to the plumes worn on the heads 
of those that go in solemn joyful procession, as to what 
happens to the wings of an ostrich, according to the nice 
and entertaining observations made by Dr. Shaw on the 
natural history of that bird, for which the learned world 
is much obliged to him. Nor is expanded and quivering 
very remote from what seems to be the idea of Aquila, 
who appears to mean the intermixing the filaments of the 

may not be amiss to add, that it appears, by the collections of Lambert Bos 
on the Septuagint, that Olympiodorus observed, that Aquila always un- 
derstood the chasldah to mean the heron rather than the stork, as some 
unskilful people supposed. But tbe two species resemble each other so 
niuch, that it is not improbable, but one Hebrew word stood for both. De 
Tott, among others, observes, that the stork feeds on serpents, builds its 
Dest on the houses, and is revered by the Orientals, part li p. 42. Doub- 
dan, however, supposes that storks in Palestine roost in trees. See the 
succeeding article. 

* Baron de Tott tells us, that the Arabs chU the ostrich daivai-cooshoo, 
or the camel bii-d ; if then, besides its proper name, which acc»)iding to Dr. 
Shaw is naamuh, p. 449, it is called by a periphrasis (he camel biid, it may 
as well be described in sacred poetry by another, the desert bird, Mem. of 
€le Tott, part li, p. 41. 

TOL. II. 44 


feathers together, by the jojous motions of those that 
wore them, in times of pleasurable solemnity. 

I would finish this article with observing, that the 
Septuagint translation of the second clause of this verse, 
makes the first word of it the second person singular of a 
verb. This only supposes that a single letter happens to 
be left out in our modern Hebrew copies, which will not 
appear at all strange to those that are acquainted with the 
collections of Dr. Kennicott. And if that alteration is 
admitted, we may understand the words as signifying. 

The plume of those that go in joyful procession pleas- 
ingly quivers : 

Hast thou reared up^ strengthened, the heron and the 
ostrich, from whom those feathers are taken? 

If we should be unwilling to suppose the custom «o an- 
cient as the days of Job, among the people of the land of 
Uz, 1 imagine it will be hardly contested, that it was 
known to Aquila, and the elder translators of the Septua- 
gint version, and that they supposed it was probably, at 
least, as ancient as the time of this celebrated personage 
of very remote antiquity. 



Though a throne and royal dignity seem to be corre- 
lates, or terms that stand in reciprocal relation to each 
other, yet the privilege of sitting on a throne has been 
sometimes granted to those that were not kings, par- 
ticularly to sooie governors of important provinces. 

In the book of Nehemiah, in like manner, we read of the 
throne of the governor of this side the river ;^^ the throne, 

* Ch. iii. 7. Lysias was in such a situation in ths time of Antiochus 
Spiphancs, I Mac. iii. 33. 


in other words, the governor for the king of Persia of the 
provinces belonging to that empire on the west of the 

So d'Herbelot tells us,=^ that a Persian monarch, of 
after times, f gave the governor of one of his provinces 
permission to seat himself in a gilded chair, when he ad- 
ministered justice, which distinction was granted him on 
account of the importance of that post, to which the guard- 
ing a pass of great consequence was committed. This 
province, he tells us, is now called ShirvaUf but was for- 
merly named Serir al dhahab, which signifies, in Arabic, 
the throne of gold. To which he adds, that this privi» 
lege was granted to the governor of this province, as 
being the place through which the northern nations were 
wont to make their way into Persia : on which account 
also a mighty rampart or wall was raised there. 

May we not, agreeably to this account, suppose, that 
the governor of the provinces on the western side of the 
Euphrates was looked upon as possessed of a post of the 
highest consequence, on account of the frequent irrup- 
tions of the Egyptian princes, and distinguished by this 
privilege of sitting on a throne for that cause, perhaps 
gilded, or otherwise adorned with gold. 

And does not his having a palace at Jerusalem, in which 
perhaps was such a seat for the administration of justice, 
mark out the great consequence of Jerusalem, in the es- 
timation of the Persian princes of those times, notwith- 
standing its having been so completely ruined, and but 
slowly emerging out of the heaps of rubbish into which the 
army of Nebuchadnezzar had reduced it ? 

* Page 157, art. Bab al Aboab. 

\ He lived about 600 years after the birth of our Lord^ as Jeremiah 
lived, somewhat more thaa 400 years before, 




The word n:v tsinnahi used for those martial ensigns 
of rojal dignity, which were carried before King Solomon, 
and which our version renders targets, 1 Kings x. 16, was 
supposed bv the Septuagint to signify spears or lances :^ 
and as the word is to be understood to signify some sharp 
pointed weapon, it may be more natural to understand it 
of a lunce, ttian of a defensive piece of armour with a short 
sharp pointed umbo in the middle, considering that shields 
of gold were also carried before this prince, at solemn 
seasons. One can hardly find a disposition to admit, that 
two sorts of things so much alike as targets and shields, 
should be meant here ; and if such similar defensive pieces 
of armour were hardly meant, the translation of the Septu- 
agint is as natural as any, to say nothing of the authority 
of so ancient a version, in which, so far as appears by 
Lambert Bos, all the copies, which frequently disagree in 
other matters, concur. 

But whatever we may think of this way of translating 
the original word, we can hardly suppose such martial en- 
signs of honor were unknown in the time when this trans- 
lation w^as made. It is certain they now appear in the 
Levant. Thus Windus, in his description of a pompous 
cavalcade of the emperor of Morocco, tells us, that after 
several parties of people were passed, ** came Muley Ma- 
homet Lariba, one of the emperor's sons ; he is Alcayde 
of the stables, or master of the horse : there attended him 
a guard of horse and foot, at the head of which he rode 
with a lance in his hand, the place where the blade joins 
to the wood covered with gold."f 

Soon after which came the emperor himself. 

* Kett ifarovriVi XcLXco/ucev T^iAaoa-ia. So^itret ^fiucx txetrct, I Kings (or as in 
the Septuagint, 3 Kings) x. 16. And ciolonion nuade three hundred spearr 
of beaten go'd. Jiuix. 

t Page 2, 159. 


The accounf of this lance seems to give a clear illus- 
tration, of what ibe Septuagint referred to in their trans- 
lation of this passage ; if not of the original of the Hebrew 

A comparafively modern prince of Persia seems to 
bave emulated this piece of grandeur of Solomon, and 
to bave even surpassed it, though by means of a different 
kind of weapon from either of those 1 have been mention- 
ing. According to d'Herbelof, be had two troops of 
horsemen, consisting of a thousand eaob ; one troop car- 
rying maces of gold, each of which weighed one thousand 
drachms, or thousand crowns of gold ; the second, maces 
of silver of the same weight. These two brigades served 
him for bis ordinary guard, and upon extraordinary cere- 
monies each of these horsemen carried his mace upon his 
shoulder.* One tenth part of the number would have 
been extremely majestic. 



The arraying in a rich dress, and making to ride in great 
pomp and ceremony, were, it seems, the ancient mode of 
investing with the highest degree of subordinate power in 
Egypt, and still remain so, with a small variation, which 
may give occasion to some speculations. 

Thus we find when Pharaoh gave Joseph all power over 
Egypt under himself, he, among other things, arrayed him 
in vestures of fine linen .... and he made him to ride in 
the second chariot which he had ; and they cried before 
him, Bow the knee : and he made him ruler over all the 
land of Egypt. Gen. xli. 42, 43. On the other hand, in 
our times, the History of the Revolt of Ali Bey tells us,{ 

* Bibliotheque Orient, art. Jacoub ben Laith, page 467. 

t See a sinilar subject treated of before, Observations xxxiii. xxxiv. xxxv. 
xsxvi. xxxvii. Edit. 

:t Page 43. 


that on the election of a new Sheik bellct,^ the Pasha who 
approves of him, invests him with a vahiable fur, treats 
him with sherbet, and when the Skeik bellet departs, the 
Pasha presents him with a horse, richly caparisoned. He 
is treated in like manner when he waits upon a new Pasha : 
when such a Pasha first comes into Egypt, the Pasha 
gives him a robe of costly fur, and when the Sheik bellet 
departs gives him a horse, richly caparisoned. f 

Rich vestments, and riding in great magnificence, were 
anciently practised ; and s(i!l iake place, as lo him that is 
invested with the highest degree of the actual power of 
government, under the pre-eminence of another, whose 
power is oftentimes little more than honorary and nomi- 
nal : but here lies the difference, which is considerable, 
and deserves some notice : Joseph was arrayed in fine 
linen, the modern Sheik bellet in robes faced with costly 
furs ; the first rode in the second best royal chariot, the 
others on horses richly caparisoned. 

The vestments of fine linen seem to be cool and airy, 
and fit for so warm a climate as Egypt ; while furred robes 
seem more suitable to the princes of Russia and the North, 
where the severity of the winter makes such warm gar- 
ments highly requisite : nevertheless, we find they now ob- 
tain not only in the dresses of ceremony in Europe, 
but throughout the East too, which seems to intimate, 
that the knowledge of those animals that furnish out the 
most magnificent furs had not anciently reached these 
countries: or at least the manner of preparing them ele- 
gantly. For since these things have been discovered, they 
have every where prevailed, as requisite to make prince- 
ly habits magnificent, and the robes of those inconsidera- 
ble, though far inferior stations, suflSciently honorable, 

* The Sheik of the country, we are told, the word signifies, who has the 
actual government of Egypt, under the nominal government of the Pashaj 
the representative of the Grand Seignior. 

t Page 32, 33. 


Accordingly there is not one word of costly furs in the 
Scriptures : blue, or purple and fine linen, "^^ and habits 
enriched with threads or wires of silver and gold, are the 
only things mentioned there, relating to the substances 
that composed their vestments of pomp.f 

As to magnificent riding, chariots are not now made use 
of, either by men, or even the fair sex. It may be diffi- 
cult to say what this is owing to ; whether to the diffi- 
culty of their roads: or to the clumsy and unraechanical 
manner of constructing their carriages; or to a junction 
of both causes. Certain it is, that ihey are not now used 
in these countries: and the magnificence of the furniture 
of their horses makes up the want of pompous chariots. 
Anciently, however, chariots were used by the great : 
they were thought most deadly machines of war ;t it was 
courage in war that in those ruder times gave dignity, and 
seems to have been chiefly looked at in conferring royal 
honors; it was natural then for their kings to ride in 
chariots, as their great warriors at that time in common 
did; which royal chariots were without doubt most high- 
ly ornamented. In the most magnificent of all that Pha- 
raoh had, but one, Joseph, was made to ride. But when 
chariots were laid aside in war, their princes laid aside 
the use of them by degrees, and betook themselves to 
horses, as upon the whole most agreeable, and they en- 
deavoured to transfer the pomp of their chariots to them? 
and richly indeed they do adorn them, 



The complaint that David made of Joab to his son 
Solomon not long before his death, and which was evi- 

* Judges viii. 26, Esth. viii. 15, Jer. x. 9, Luke xvi. 19, &c. - 
t Exod. xxxix. 3. That royal apparel that Herod Agrippa wore, in the 
theatre of Cesarea, when struck AvitU death, was, according to Josephur, 
of silver, vol. i. page 950, ed. Har. 

\ Joshua xvii. 16, 18, Judges i. 19, CJi. iv. 3, &c. 


dently intended, in general, severely fo condemn his con- 
duct, does not appear to me to have been properly illus* 
Irated by commentators, at least by none of those whose 
explanations are given us in Pool's Synopsis. 

The murdering Abner and Amasa was highly criminal: 
and the more so as done with treachery and even hypoc- 
risy : but was it any addition to the hrinousness of the 
offence, that some of their blood happened to be sprinkled 
on his shoes and his girdle, as they seem to suppose? 
would he not have been equally criminal had not a single 
drop reached him, but all had either fallen on the earth, 
or stained the raiment of some bystander. 

I am inclined to think, the true sense of this part of the 
complaint against Joab is that he maintained himself in 
the generalship of the army, at the expense of shedding 
the blood of these two eminent and innocent personages. 

To make this out, two preliminary remarks are requi- 
site. The first, that that which is procured at the ex- 
pense of any man's blood, is spoken of in the strong lan- 
guage of the Old Testament as that person's blood ; yea, 
even if the person lost not his life actually, but only ran a 
great risk of doing so. The second, that a thing is fre- 
quently spoken of as if it were blood, on the account of 
its being of the colour of blood, or having some other re- 
semblance of it. 

The 2 Sam. xxiii. 16, 17, is a proof of the first position, 
as Joel ii. 31, is of the sec ond. In Samuel we read, that 
the three mighty men brake through the host of the Phil- 
istines, and drew water out of tlie well of Bethlehem, that 
was by the gate, and took it, and brought it to David : 
nevertheless, lie would not drink thereof, but poured it 
out unto the Lord. And he said, Be it far from me, O 
Lord, that 1 should do this : is not this the blood of the 
men that went in jeopardy of their lives/* Therefore he 
would not drink it. As to Joel, he says. The sun shall 
be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, into 
the colour of blood, as it is often seen when darkened in 


an eclipse, before the great and terrible day of the Lord 

After these preliminaries, if we only suppose the gen- 
eral of Israel was wont to wear red shoes, and a girdle of 
that colour, it was natural for an Eastern imagination to 
speak of them as tinged with blood | especially when 
those habiliments were obtained, or continued to be a 
man's proper dress, by the means of shedding of blood. 

Shoes of red leather, I ihink, are represented by the 
Prophet Ezekiel, as worn by a female richly arrayed ;=5f: 
and skins dyed of that colour were known and in use in 
the time of Moses :f it is then by no means an improbable 
supposition that such red shoes might he worn by Joah, 
if it was only as a rich part of dress. It might be more, 
and express his being one of the higher officers of Da- 
vid's army. But if not, if red shoes were only a piece of 
magnificence common to great people of that time, the 
red shoes of Joab were continued to him UiroMgh his 
shedding the blood of Abner and Amasa ; if either of 
them had lived, he would have been dismissed from his 
generalship, and the habit of affliction, perhaps of pover- 
ty, would have succeeded the pomp of red shoes, and a 
crimson girdle. 

I do not know that people were forbidden in the day's 
of David to wear red shoes, that supposition is by no 

* Ezek. xvi. 10. 

I Exod. xxv. 5, chap. xxvi. 14, chap. xxxv. 7, Sec. These two, ram skins 
dyed red and badgers' skins, seem to be spoken of as the most precious 
kinds of leather then used, or commonly known at least. Probably botli 
dyed of the same colour; but if not, if shoes >vere made of the one for 
splendor, they might be equally of the other. A very learned and ingenious 
gentleman has made a remark on a passage of a preceding volume, which 
has some relation to what I am now mentioning, and therefore may here be 
taken notice of; and that is, tTiat if the dyeing the tails and the hair of the 
foreheads of buffaloes red be tliought to be ornamental, yet how cou[<i the 
black goat's hair curtains of the tabernacle, under the red vnm skins im- 
prove the appearance, when no longer seen at all ? I would answer, cer- 
tainly they could not, if not seen at all, but acconling to their notions they 
saight, if a border of black appeared under the red, in the same manner as 
^hite under the black in funeral palls. 

yoL. II. 45 

354 O^ HONOllhVG SUPElilORS. 

means necessary ; but it is certain that all the subjects of 
the modern Turkish empire may not wear just what col^ 
oured shoes they please ; and the Baron de Tott tells us, 
that Sultan Mustapha made regulations of this kind the 
first object of the exertions of his authority, punishing 
with great violence and barbarily those Greeks, Arme- 
nians, and Jews, who were found clothed in the colours 
forbidden those three nations. He adds, " An unfortu- 
nate Christian mendicant, who wore an old pair of yellow 
slippers, just given him by a Turk in charity, was stopt 
by the Grand Seignior; and this excuse could not save 
his life. Every day produced some horror."^ It seems, 
according to a note on this passage by the Baron, that 
the Turks only are allowed to wear slippers of yellow 

But though the Turks in civil life wear yellow slippers, 
their janizaries, the principal order of their soldiers, are 
obliged to v/ear red shoes, which with great blue breeches, 
and a peculiar kind of bonnet, are the distinguishing parts 
of their dress, according to the same traveller. Their 
clothes are of what colour they please. 

zlfter this we may perhaps more clearly comprehend 
the meaning of David, when we read those words of in- 
struction he gave to Solomon, whose reign was to be 
peaceful, and consequently could little want the military 
talents of Joab : Thou knowest also, what Joab the son 
of Zeruiah did to me, and what he did to the two captains 
of the host of Israel, unto Abner the son of Ner, and 
nnto Aniasa the son of Jeiher, whom he slew, and shed 
the blood of war in peace, and put the blood of 7var upon 
his girdle that ivas about his loins, and upon his shoes 
that were on his feet, 1 Kings ii. 5, I say upon rather than 
in, and would remark, that it is precisely the same parti- 
cle as is joined with the word girdle in the Hebrew, and 
which our translators themselves render there, iqjon.'l" 

* Tome i. page 125, 126. 

t [ cannot but express my dissent from the forced construction put on 
the transaction here referred to. David certainly meant no jijcrf; than 




It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, precisely to 
determine the meaning of those three words in Dan. iii. 
21, which are translated in our version, coals, hosen, and 
hats ; but the words seem to me, in general, to point out 
those badges of honor that were upon these three Jewish 
heroes, not any parts of their common dress ; and if so 
understood, greater light will be thrown into that part of 
the story, than will otherwise appear there. ^ 

The words certainly may as well be understood to 
mean they were thrown with such things about them into 
the fire, as well as with their common garments ; as that 
they were cast into that terrible fiery furnace, with this 
part of their common dress, that other, a third thing, and, 
in one word, all their garments. Why this enumeration 
of particulars, according to this latter supposition ? 
Would it not have been as well, in that case, to have said 
at once, they were thrown into the fire with their clothes 
on ? 

The Old English term hosen, which i$ used to trans- 
late the second of these words, was designed by our trans- 
lators, there is reason to believe, to express drawers, 
trowsers, or breeches, not stockings, for that was the 

merely to state, that the murder was not committed at his instigation, but 
by the hand of Joab himself, and even while he was expressing friendship 
for and embracing Amasa ; and therefore much stress is laid upon this 
•word, -whom he sleio, and shed the blood ofivar in peace. For the sacred 
historian observes, that Joab took^'imasa by the beard to kiss him, and 
smote him in the fifth rihy and shed out his botvels to the ground, 2 Sam. 
XX. 9, 10. Does not every unbiassed reader see, the attitudes of the per- 
sons being considered, that the blood must first s|)ring out on Joab's gir- 
dle, and then be sprinkled upon his shoes ? Edit. 

* See the note on these three Chaldee words at the conclusion of this 
Observation. Edit. 


common meaning of I he word in the time in which that 
version was made, and the word has been so understood 
by other translators;*' not to remark, that the Eastern 
people in common, appear not to have used stockings. 
But is it not strange, that it should be remarked by the 
historian that they were committed to the flames with 
their breeches on ? WouhJ it not have been extremely 
strange if it had been otherwise? If IJicy had been divest- 
ed of their upper garments before they had been thrown 
into the furn»ce, certainly such a part of their dress as 
this would have been left upon them. Decency requir- 
ed it. 

In the three other places of holy writ in which the 
word appears,! it is translated hammer, and evidently 
signifies some such instrument ; but it is very difficult to 
conceive, how the same word came to be made use of to 
expre?;s such very dissimilar things as di hammer, and a 
pair of breeches. 

There will be much the same difficulty, in making out 
the connexion, if we should suppose this second word 
means the covering they wore on their heads, as the Sep- 
tuagint and vulgar Latin translations seem to have done. 

Nothing in short can be more indecisive than the trans- 
lations that have been given of these words. But consid- 
ering that these three Jews had been set over the prov- 
ince of Babylon, by King Nebuchadnezzar, at the request 
of Daniel their countryman ; that this was a time of great 
solemnity, when it was to be supposed all officers of state 
were to appear in their proper habiliments ; that Shad- 
rach and his two companions were present on this occa- 
sion ; I have thought nothing can be more natural, than 
the supposing these three words signify three particular 
things, superadded to the garments worn by the people of 
that country in private stations. 

Impressed with this idea, I consulted the plates Siv 
John Chardin has given us, of the carvings that are found 

■* Particularly by Arias Montanus. f Is. xli. 7, Jer, xsiii. 29, ch. I. C^. 


in the ruins of Persepoli , which are supposed to have 
been erected about the time of the Prophet Daniel, in 
which ihatemin nt traveller has given us a delineation of 
an ancient Persian sacred procession. Among other fig- 
ures, I observed one man that had a hammer, or mallet, 
or some s sch inslru bent, in each hand. A variety of 
other instruments appear in the hands of other persons, 
of which it must be diflacult to give a satisfactory account. 
But the hammers in so ancient a monument; erected in 
that country; and carried in a sacred procession there, 
very much struck me. 

Numbers of these figures wore, according to the ancient 
simplicity, no covering whatever on their heads, "^ but 
that which Nature gave them; but others had different 
kinds of coverings on their heads : but not one resembling 
our hats, nor the modern Eastern turban ; consequently, 
so far as this ancient monument will be admitted to afford 
some illustration of that grand assembly, which was con- 
vened to consecrate the image of gold, set up by Nebu- 
chadnezzar in the plain of Dura, if one of the three words 
should signify an artificial covering of the head, as has 
been commonly supposed, though some understand the 
second of the words, and others the third, to have that 
meaning, so little are the learned agreed in determining 
the signification of these words; I say, supposing one of 
them should signify a covering of the head, the word hat 
in our translation is not proper ; nor even the word tiir- 
ban, which is put Into the margin, from an apprehension 
that the name of a modern Eastern coiffure would be more 
proper here, than one known only in these more western 
parts of the world. 

Antiquity will not, however, determine, with precision, 
what the shape of that ancient covering of the head was, 
that these three Jews wore, if it is allowed, that it prob- 
ably is to be found in this ancient monument, since there 

* Niebuhr, Descript. de TArabie, p. 57, gives an account of many of 
Arabs wearing only a cord about their heads. 



are no fewer than four or five different sorts of them, that 
appear in this delineation of an ancient sacred procession, 
though not one thai reseaibles a hat or a turban. It can- 
not therefore from hence be told, which Shadrach and 
his coaipanions wore upon Ihis occasion. Different ranks 
of people probably wore different coiffures, as differently 
made turbans are now worn in the East, in different coun- 
tries, and even by people of different ranks in the same 

All the five sorts, however, or at least almost all of 
them, may be called in our language caps, which perhaps 
may be a more proper word, to be used in translating this 
passage, than either hat or turban. 

Many of these figures have a short sort of cloak hang- 
ing over their shoulders, something like one of those an- 
cient vestments put on the shoulders of our English kings, 
in the day of their coronation. Perhaps something of 
this kind is what is meant by the first of these three words, 
"which our English version renders coats; but which the 
more modest translators of the Septuagint would not ven- 
ture to put a Greek word for, but gave the original word, 
or what they took for the original word, in Greek letters. 
The like modesty appears in the interlineary version of 

The vulgar Latin, Syramachus, and a Greek scholiast, 
whose w^ords are given by Lambert Bos in his edition of 
the Septuagint, suppose that the first of these three words 
signifies breeches^ or something of that kind; but the rea- 
son I before mentioned prevents an acquiescence in such 
an interpretation, and it only serves to show how unable 
they were to determine the sense of the words. 

The supposing they were ensigns of dignity, or office, 
in general, appears to be the most natural account that 
can be given : the command, it seems, was, that they 
should not only be thrown into the flames with their com- 
mon garments ; but even with all the ensigns of dignity 
and office which they had on, when first seized. The 


vebemence of Ibe king's anger being such as (o command 
inimediale execution without (hat degradation, that strip- 
ping off vestments, and taking away ensigns of dignity, 
which the cool and determinate cruelty of the Popish 
church in former times has been wont to practise, before 
the offender in holy orders was committed to the flames. 

If it should be objected, that the hammers that appear 
on this Persian antiquity were probably things belonging 
to their idolatrous worship, and it may be the sacred in- 
struments with which they knocked down their sacrifices, 
and that therefore these faithful and zealous worshippers 
of the one living and true God, would never have appear- 
ed with them in this solemn assembly : I would answer, 
that we cannot certainly tell what use they were put to : 
and if it should be admitted, that they were instruments 
belonging to their idolatrous worship, yet other things are 
seen in the hands of many of these figures, or fixed about 
them, that plainly appeared to have had no such refer- 
ence, as spears, bows, quivers, &.c. Consequently the 
second of these words may \ery well be understood to 
mean, some ensigns of their secular honor which they car- 
ried in their hands, or had about them, and which might 
bear some resemblance to the hammers of that age, and 
that country. Or, perhaps the word might mean those 
large hammer like hilted swords, which appear stuck to 
the side of several of the leaders of each distinct compa^ 
ny in this grand procession, and which seem to be the 
mark of dignity. The form of the hilt of these swords is 
really remarkable, if the drawings of Chardin are exact. 
It must be acknowledged, indeed, (hat they do not ap- 
pear, at all, in the engravings of these antiquities, in the 
quarto edition of le Bruyn ; but then it ought to be re- 
marked that le Bruyn's figures arc of little more than half 
the size of those of Chardin, and consequcDtly the want 
of any sword in those leading figures may be owing mere- 
ly to (he diminutive size, in which they must have appear- 
ed if properly engraven. 

But be this as it may, it is natural to suppose that the 


three things distinctly mentioned in this passage of Daniel 
mean, in general, habits or ensigns of dignity, with which 
they were thrown into the flames, as well as in their com- 
mon clothes, that all might see no national prejudice, tio 
station of dignity, should exempt them from death, that 
should dare to refuse a compliance with the will of their 
prince in religious matters. But w^hat the things particu- 
larly were is much more uncertain : if we are at all infiu- 
enced by these wonderful remains of Eastern royal mag- 
nificence, the supposing them to mean h short garment 
hung on the shoulders, soraethinjr like that part of the En- 
glish royal dress called the dalmafica^ a large sword with 
a hammer like hilt, and a cap of dignity, may be as proba- 
ble an interpretation as has been put upon these words, 
and more so than the explanation of our translation, which 
talks of coats, hosen of breeches, and hats. 

Ensigns of dignity began to be worn in times of the most 
remote antiquity, of which we have any account. And 
as crowns and sceptres are very ancient, so we find a key, 
worn on the shoulder, a mark of Jewish inferior dignity, 
in the time of their princes of the house of David.^ The 
splendor of Nebuchadnezzar's court leads us to suppose 
they were oi several kinds there, and I would hope the 
illustration I have given from this celebrated Persian 
monument may appear not very improbable ; at least not 
disagreeable to be proposed for examination. f 

* Is. xxii. 22. The apparel of the servants of Solomon, mentioned 
1 Kings X. 5, were, I presume, robes of dignity, 

f Mr. Parkhurst on the word 73*^0 surbel, ihejirst of the three words 
referred to above, observes, •' Herodotus lib i. cap. 195, tells us, that in 
his time, which was about one hundred years after the events recorded in 
Dan. iii. the dress of the Babylonians consisted ofa tunic, of woollen, and 
over all a white short cloak or mantle, juid that on their heads they wore 
turbans, ^/Tg«<r<. Thus, therefore, I think we may best translate Dan. iii. 
21. Then these three men -were bound |in"'7!3'^D sarbeleehon, in their 
c/oaA?* ; pn"'ty£33 patsheehon, their turbans, \\T\^^'2^^2') vekarbelatehon, 
and /A«>w/>/>er, woollen, fM;HCs, pn'tS'D?! ulebusheehon, and their under^ 
linen, tnnics. And as according to this interpretation their ^ v3"^0 sarbelee 
were xheir outermost ffurmenis, we %ee the propriety with which it is ob- 
s-erred at rer. 27, that these were not changed by the fire." Ep i t. 




When llie son of Sirach opposes him that wore fljUoAivov 
to him that wore purple and a crown, ^ it is visible thai he 
means to contrast one that was miserably clothed, to one 
that was richly attired ; but is it as clear that he meant 
by that Greek word dL porter, accordijig to ihe marginal 
translation? or can the describing such a person as being 
one that wore a linen garment, according to the body of 
our English version, be considered as a happy translation. 

The poor people of Egypt are described now as clothed 
very generally wilh a " linen shirt or frock, which is al- 
ways dyed blue." But though the dyeing it of that col- 
our is very universal, yet it is spoken of as done by indi- 
go, a thing of value, and which is considered as a beauti- 
ful dye, and is accordingly cultivated in Egypt up to the 
cataracts. 1 

So another writer informs us, as to the dress of the 
common people in Egypt, that the men wear next to their 
skin a shirt of coarse calico, without a collar or wristband, 
which hangs down to their knees ; above it they wear 
another larger, and longer, or a blue colour, and round 
their waist a leathern girdle, about a quarter of a yard in 
breadth, buckled on the front with brass buckles. The 
women are dressed nearly in the same manner, but with- 
out girdles, wearing their outer shirt loose, reaching down 
to their heels ; the seams of it are sewed with red silkj 
and both sides are embroidered, J &c. This embroidery^ 
I think, plainly shows, that though it is the dress of the 
common people that is described, yet still not as destitute 
of all finery, and the being dyed with indigo is of the same 
nature with the embroidery : may not D.uohivov then mean 
coarse linen not so much as dyed, according to the cus- 

' EcclesiasUcus xl. 4. f De Toll's Memoirs, part iv. page 68. 

I History of the Revolt of Ali Bey, page 17. 
▼OL. II. 46 


tomof Egjpt with indigo, but worn as it comes from the 
bleaching ground? perhaps not so much as bleached, but 
as it came from the loom? As the word signifies crude 
linen, may it not be understood after this manner? 

One would hardlj think it necessary to suppose it 
means tow, or flax unwoven and unspun, though a quantity 
of that wrapped round the waist, might be sufficient to 
conceal the private parts, which seem to be as much as 
many of the Egyptians are concerned about, and even 
more. So Niebuhr saw some washerwomen in that coun- 
try, washing in the sea and in the river, who had no trow- 
sera on, but simply a cloth about their haunches.^ De 
Tott adds, concerning the Egyptians, " Both the men and 
women swim like fir5h. Their clothing is only a blue shirt, 
which but indifferently conceals the pudency of the wo- 
men ; the men gird it round them, for convenience, while 
they labour ; the children always go naked, and I have seen 
girls, eighteen years old, still children in that respect. "f 

I suppose with Grotius, in his commentary on this book, 
that it is not necessary to understand the first member 
<Df this verse exclusively of kings, since their nobles also 
wore purple ; but I am inclined to think the crowns this 
writer speaks of do not mean garlands of flowers, worn in 
times of festivity, since the poorest might, if they pleased, 
do the same thing, and those that were inferior to kings 
had crowns, or coronets, of gold sent them, as well as pur- 
ple in those times, and among the rest, some of the great 
men of the Jewish nation at that time, as appears by one 
of the books entitled Maccabees. J 

But the most splendid dress is certainly opposed in 
these words to the meanest ; and it will be pleasing to 
recollect here, that the author was a Jew, who wrote in 
Egypt, where linen dyed blue is universally, or almost 
universally, worn by the common people. 

* Voy. en Arable, et en d'autres Pays circonvoislns, Tome i. page 168. 
I Tome iv. page 74. i 1 Mace. x. 20. 




The possession of black eunuchs is not very common in 
Ihe Levant, and they are hardly any where to be found 
except in the palaces of the sovereign, or of the branches 
of the royal family. In some points, in this in particular, 
the ancient Jewish kings carried their magnificence as 
hjgh as the modern princes of Asia : for we find Ebed- 
melech, who appears to have been a black eunuch,"^ served 
in the court of Zedekiah,f the last of the kings of Judab, 
preceding the captivity of that people in Babylon. 

The similarity of taste in being attended by eunuchs, 
in setting a peculiar estimation on those of a black com-^ 
plexion, and the supposed magnificence of having such at- 
tendants, is rather remarkable. 

When the Baron de Tott's wife and mother in law 
were admitted to make a visit to Asma Sultana, daughter 
of the emperor Achmet, and sister of the then reigning 
prince, he tells us, that at the opening of the third gate of 
her palace, several black eunuchs presented themselves, 
who, with each a white st^tffin his hand, preceded the 
visitors, leading them to a spacious apartment, called the 
chamber of strangers. At the close of the account of this 
visit, he informs us, that " these beings are in Turkey only 
an article of luxury, and scarcely met with, but in the 
seraglio of the Grand Seignior, and those of the Sultanas. 
The pride of some grandees has indeed gone so far as to 
make use of them, but with moderation, and the richest 
among them have not more than one or two black eunuchs 

at most The manners of these are always harsh 

and brutal, and offended nature seems continually to ex- 
press her anger at the injury she has received. "J 

• Jer. xiii. 23. f J^"*- xxxviii. 7, 10, 12, ch. xxxix« 16. 

^ Memoirs, part i. page 71, &c. 


The very humane disposition Ebedmelech expressed 
toward the Prophet Jeremiah, when thrown into a dun- 
geon where he was ready to perish, seems to entitle him 
to the honor of being an exception to this unamiable char- 
acter, but which may be, very possibly, most agreeable 
to their tyrannizing masters. 



Among other instances of the extreme distance, and 
profound awe, with whio^i Eastern majesty is treated, one 
that is mentioned by Sir John Chardin, in his account of 
Persia, appears very strange to us ; yet may aflford a live- 
ly comment on a passage of the Prophet EzekieJ. 

Sir John tells us,^ *' It is a common custom in Persia^ 
that when a great man has built a palace, he treats the king 
and his grandees in it foi several days. Then the great 
gate of it is open : but when these festivities are over, 
they shut it up never more to be opened." He adds, "1 
have heard that the same thing is practised in Japan.'* 

It seems surprising to us, that great and magnificent 
bouses within should have only small entrances into theniy 
which no one would suppose would lead into such beautiful 
edifices: but such, he observes, is the common custom 
there : making no magnificent entrance into their houses 
at all ; or if they do, shutting them up after a little time, 
and making use of some small entrante near the great one, 
or it may be, in some very different part of the building. 

This account, hovrever, may serve as a comment on the 
passage of Ezekiel, Then said the Lord unto me, This 
gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man 
shall enter in by H, because the Lord God of Israel hath 
entered in by if, therefore it shall be shut. It is for the 
prince, Ch, xliv.2, 3. 

Not so however for the prince himself, as that he should 
pass through that gate ; he was only to stand, or to sit in 

* Tome iii. page 69. 


the entrance of it, while other persons, if they worshipped 
at thai gate, were to keep at a more awful distance, ch. 
Xjvi. 1 — \2. But this indulgence was only on festival 
days ; sabbaths and new moons. 



Deep as the reverence is with which the Orientals 
treat their princes, yet in some cases, anode of treatment 
occurs that we are surprised at, as seeming to us of the 
West, too near an approach to that familiarity that takes 
place among equals: the taking a new elected prince by 
the hand, in ioken of acknowledging his princely character, 
may probably appear to us in this light. 

D'llerbelot, in explaining an Eastern term,^ which, he 
tells us, signifies the election or auguration of a Calif, the 
supreme head of the Mohammedans, both in civil and 
ecclesiastical matters, tells us, that "this ceremony con- 
sisted in stretching forth a person's hand, and taking that 
of him that they acknowledged for Calif, This was a sort 
of performing ho.nage, and swearing fealty to him.'' He 
adds, that " Khondemir, a celebrated historian, speaking 
of the election of Othman, the thi*d Calif after Moham- 
med, says, that Ali alone did not present his hand to him, 
and that upon that occasion Abdurahman, who had by com 
promise made the election, said to him, * O Ali! he who 
violates his word is the first person that is injured by so 
doing;' upon hearing of which words, Ali stretched out 
his hand, and acknowledged Othman as Calif." 

How much less solemn and expressive of leverence is 
this, than the manner of paying homage and swearing 
fealty at the coronation of our princes; to say nothing of 
the adoration that is practised in the Romish church, 
upon the election of their great ecclesiastic! It may 
however serve to illustrate what we read concerning Je- 

* Pac:e 204, art. Biat. 


Lonadab,=5^' the head of an Arab tribe that lived in, and 
consequently was in some measure subject to, the kingdom 
of Israel. Jehonadab came to meet Jehii^ and he saluted 
him ; and Jehu said to Jehonadab, Is thine heart right, 
as my heart is with thy heart ? and Jehonadab answered. 
It is. And he said. If it be, give me thine hand : and he 
gave him his hand, and he took him up to him into the 

This giving him the hand appears not to have been the 
expression of private friendship ; but the solemn acknowl- 
edgment of him as king over Israel. 

Our translators seem to have supposed, by their way 
of expressing matters, that Jehu saluted, or blessed Je- 
honadab, and Bishop Patrick thought it was plain that it 
ought so to be understood ; but I cannot but think it most 
natural to understand the words as signifying, that Jehon- 
adab came to meet Jehu as then king of Israel; and to 
compliment him on being acknowledged king of the coun- 
try in which he dwelt ; not that ibis newly anointed 
prince first saluted him. This would not have been in 
character. So when Jacob was introduced to Pharaoh, 
he is said to have blessed Pharaoh, nof Pharaoh Jacob, 
Gen. xlvii. 7. The words therefore should have been 
translated, with a slight variation, after some such manner 
as this, " He lighted on Jehonadab, the son of Rechab, 
coming to meet him, and he, Jehonadab, saluted him, and 
he, Jehu, said unto him. Is thine heart," &c. 



Takhtdar, jhu^sJ d'Herbelot informs us,f is a 
Persian word, which properly signifies a precious carpet, 
which is made use of for the covering the throne of the 
king of Persia ; and that this word is also used as an epi- 
thet, by which the Persians describe their princes, on ac- 

* 2 Kings X. 15, 16. t Page 847'- 


count of (heir being possessed of lliis throne : now I would 
propose as a query, Whether it is not as probable, that 
the term covering, applied by the Prophet Ezekiel to the 
prince of Tyrus, may be explained in a simihir way, and 
be as good a solution of a \ery obscure epithet as any 
that has been offered by the learned? It certainly will 
have the advantage, as appears by this citation, of being 
truly in the Eastern taste. 

The passage, referred to in Ezekiel, is as follows : Son 
of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus ^ 
and say unto him, Thiis saith the Lord God, Thou seal- 
est up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. 
Thou hast been in Eden, the garden of God : every 
precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, <?-c. 
Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth : and I have 
set thee so ; thou wast upon the holy mountain of God : 
thou hast walked up and down in the onidst of the stones 
of fire, 8rc. By the multitude of thy merchandise they 
have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hasl 
sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the 
mountain of God : and I will destroy thee, O coverincr 
cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Chap, xxviii. 

The explanation given by the learned of this epithet 
covering is as follows : that it is an allusion to the posture 
of the cherubic figures that were over the ark y^' and of 
others, that it means the protection this prince afforded 
to other states, either Judea, the mountain of God, as it 
might be styled, or the cities of the heathen in the islands 
of the Mediterranean, or on its seacoasts. What they 
have said may, I believe, be reduced to one of these par- 

But it cannot well be the first, for the Prophet evident- 
ly refers to a living cherub, not the posture of the image 
of one made of gold, or of an olive tree.f He cannot be 
described after this manner, on the account of his being a 
protector of Judea, and his covering that sacred countrv 

* Exod. XXV. 20, I Kings viii. 7, f 1 Kings vi. 25, 


from its enemies, for the Prophet represents this prince as 
an adversary in this very prophecy : Son of man 9 because 
that Tyrns hath said against Jerusalem ^ Aha, she is 
broken that was the gates of the people: she is turned un- 
to me ; I shall be replenished, now she is laid waste : 
Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I am against 
thee, O Tyrus, Src. ch. xxvi. 2, 3. Nor does there ap- 
pear any ground in the prophecy, for believing the Ty- 
rians were remarkable for defending their neighbours. 
On the contrary, the Sidonians are represented in the 
Scriptures as an unwarlike people. Judges xviii. 7, and 
they and the Tyrians are known to have resembled each 
other : indeed to have been nearly one people. 

But if we understand the word as signifying having a 
throne covered with a rich and widely spreading carpet, 
it will be explaining the word in a manner conformable \o 
the present Eastern taste, as appears by this article of 
d'Herbelot ; and will answer the rest of the imagery, 
with suflScient exactness. 

Ezekiel appears to have mingled earthly and heavenly 
things together, in this description of Tyrian royal mag- 
nificence. Earth and heaven are joined together in the 
second verse of this 2oth chapter. Thou hast said, I am 
a God, / sit in the seat of God, that is in heaven, among 
the stars, as the king of Babylon is represented by Isaiah 
as boasting, Thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend 
into heaven, I wiH exalt my throne above the stars of 
God ..... f will ascend above the heights of the clouds ; 
I will be like the most High ;^ yet at the same time the 
prince of Tyrus is supposed to speak of his sitting in the 
heart of the sea. In like manner this prince is spoken of 
as having been in Eden, the garden of God, (the world of 
blessed spirits appears to have been meant,) yet as adorn- 
ed with jewels of an earthly nature, the sardius, topaz, 
diamond, &c. No wonder then that in the next verse he 
is described as a cherub, which every body knows de- 

* Is. xiv. 13, U. 


noles a kind of angel, and inhabitant of heaven, and yet is 
represented as appearing in (he atlitude of an earthly 
prince sealed on a throne, covered either with a widely 
extended carpet, or with robes, with a mighty spreading 
train. The heavenly vision which Isaiah saw, in the 
year that king Uzziah died,=^^ presented much the same 
appearance, / saw also the Lord upon a throne, high and 
lifted lip, and his train, or according to the margin, the 
skirts thereof, filled the temple. After that Ezekiel speaks 
of this prince as upon the mountain of God, magnificent, 
that is, as if in heaven, for he had no abode on mount Si- 
on ; and walking up and down in the midst of the stones 
of fire, or stars, as before observed concerning the king of 
Babylon. Then, in the 16th verse, he is threatened to 
be cast, as profane, out of this mountain of God, and 
though a covering cherub, or like a cherub enthroned, to 
be destroyed from the midst of these metaphorical stones 
of fire, the stars, above which he had as if were placed his 
throne, so great was his pomp and magnificence. 

Such seems to me the most natural explanation of the 
term covering in this description. Why the king of Ty- 
rus is denominated a cherub, and why called the anointed 
cherub, are not matters that come under this Observa- 
tion.f All that I would remark further is, that it seems 
there was a different reading in the Hebrew copy, or 
copies, that St. Jerom made use of, from what we now 
find in those of the modern Jews, for he translates that 
word which we render anointed, "Thou art the anointed 
cherub," by the term extentiis, which signifies extended, 

• Is. vi. 1. 

"}■ It may not be amiss just to hint hi a note, that as a cherub is siipposod 
to fly -with the rapidity of the wind, according to those words, fJe rode 
upon a cherub, and did fiy ; yea, he did fly iipon the wings of the ivind ; 
by which it appears, that tlie wings of a cherub and the wing^of tl>e wind 
are terms of much the same import: for that reason the prince of Tyre, 
who v/as a most distinguished maritime power of that time, whose sijlps 
flew about the seas on the wings of the wind, and who might at times ap- 
pear in great pomp, in some ancient bucentaur or royal yatch, flviiig like a 
cherub, from whence he might be so named, as other princes were called 
angels, from the general great splendor of their appearance. 

VOL. II. 47 


or drawn out in length, and so bjotli epithets may be con- 
sidered as forming one idea. O thou extended and cov- 
ering cherub ! thou cherub whose royal carpet extends 
far and near, and most nsagnificently covers a very large 
space. Jerom however gives us to understand the Sep- 
, tuagini translators read, as our Hebrew copies do noWj 
that which signifies anointed. « Wherever the mistake is 
supposed to lie, in our modern Hebrew copies or St. Jer- 
om's, the mistake was easily made, chelh being put for he, 
or the reverse; and every one that knows the shape of 
the Hebrew letters, knows how nearly they resemble 
each other: Jerom, it seems, taking the word to be de- 
rived from the verb riK^n mashahf he drew out ; our copies 
read nty^ mashach, the anointed. 



Though the sitting on mats and carpets on the ground 
is now the common usage of the East, with hardly any 
variation from it; and though it seems to have obtained, 
on some occasions at least, in the time of our Lord, 
among the Jews: yet it is certain, seats raised to a con- 
siderable height froQi the ground, even so high as to make 
a footstool reqiiisite, were in use anciently in places 
J where hardly any such thing is now to be found. 

The Persian carvings at Persepolis, frequently exhibit 
a venerable personage silting in a sort of high raised chair, 
with a footstool ;^^ but the later sovereigns of that coun- 
try have sat, with their legs under them, on some carpet 
or cushion laid on the floor, like their subjects. Sitting 
low in the like manner is practised now by all sorts of 
people, from the highest to the lowest in Egypt ;f but 
two very ancient colossal statues there, are placed on 
cubical stones, in the same attitude that we make nse of 

* Chardin, tome iii, planche C3, 64, and C6, 
t Norden, vol, ii. page 74, plate 5. 


in sitting; it being, according to Norden's measures, from 
the sole of the feet to the knees, 15 feet.'--' In like man- 
ner, we find the figures on the ancient Syrian coins are 
represented sitting on seats as we do. 

From which, this conclusion I think may be fairly 
drawn, that they sat in these countries, formerly, not un- 
frequently as we do, particularly those in high life, though 
oftener on the ground or floor than among us, even among 
those low in the world. 

Accordingly Eli, the judge as well as highpriest of Is- 
rael, sat on a throne or high seat, when the fatal news of 
the defeat of his people was brought to him, upon falling 
from which he broke his neck, 1 Sam. iv. 18. 

Nor were such lofty seats appropriate to kings and su- 
preme magistrates; Solomon represents a lewd woman^ 
who sat at her cfoor to inveigle passengers, as seated on 
such a seat, for it is the same word ndd kissa, in the orig- 
inal, which is continually translated throne : She silteth 
at the door of her house, on a seat, a throne, in the high 
places of the city, to call passengers who go right on 
their way. Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither, Src. 
Prov. ix. 14, &c. 

That custom of sitting at their doors, in the most allur- 
ing pomp that comes within their reach, is still an Eastern 
practice. " The whores," says Pitts, speaking of the 
ladies of pleasure at Grand Cairo, " use to sit at the door, 
or walk in the streets unveiled. They are commonly 
very rich in their clothes, some having their shifts and 
drawers of silk, &,c. These courtezans or ladies of 
pleasure, as well as other women, have broad velvet caps 
on their heads, beautified with abundance of pearls, and 
other costly and gaudy ornaments, &c. These madams 
go along the streets smoking their pipes of four or five, 
feet long; and when they sit at their doors, a man can 
scarce pass by but they will endeavour to decoy him in.^f 

* Page 69. 

t Account of the Religion and Manners of the Mohammedans, page ^^, 


The Jewish police, in the time of Solomon, was not so 
rigid, as to prevent the appearance of lewd women in 
public ; and when they did do so, it appears that they 
frequently sat at the doors of their houses, as they do 
now in that part of the world, to entice the unthinking. 
At which lime they assume all the pomp and splendor in 
their power; and this sitting on an high seat was used, 
undoubtedly, with that view, in the time of Solomon, 
Agreeably to which he represents a lewd woman, in 
another passage, as talking of decking her bed with cov- 
erings of tapestry, with fine linen of Egypt, and of per» 
fuming it with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.* 

They did not then among the ancients sit universally 
as the modern inhabitants of the East now do, on the 
ground or floor, on some mat or carpet ; they sometimes 
sat on thrones, or seats more or less like our chairs, often 
raised so high as to require a footstool. But it was con- 
sidered as a piece of splendor, and offered as a mark of 
particular respect. 

It was doubtless for this reason that a seat of this kind 
was placed, along with some other furniture, in the cham- 
ber which the devout Shunamitess prepared for the Proph- 
et Elisha, 2 Kings iv. 10, which our version has very 
unhappily translated a stool, by which we mean the least 
honorable kind of seat in an apartment ; whereas the origi-. 
nal word meant to express her respect for the Prophet by 
the kind of seat she prepared for him.f 

* Prov. vii. 16, 17. 

f The word is ^03 kissa, the same that is commonly translated throne^ 
The candlestick is, in like manner, to be considered as a piece of furni- 
ture, suitable to a room that was magnificently fitted up, according to the 
mode of those times, a light being kept burning all night long in such apart- 
ments. So a lamp was kept burning all night, in the apartment in which 
Dr. Richard Ch*in'Uer slept, in the house of a Jew> who was vice consul for 
the English nation, at the place where he first landed, when he proposed to 
visit the curoius ruins of Asia Minor. Further, we are told by de la Roque, 
in the account given of some French gentlemen's going to ArabiaFelix, page 
43, 44, that they found only mats in the house of the captain of the port of 
Aden, where they were honorably received, which were to serve them 
for beds, chairs, and tables ; so in the evening they brought them tapers 
Tvithout candlesticks, the want of which they were to Bupply as well at 
they could, which was but indifferentl}-. 


These high seats were also used, in other parts of the 
E isi besides Judea; for St. James, ch. i. 1, writing to the 
Jews in (heir dispersions, speaks of I hem as using seats 
that required a footstool in their religious assemblies, see 
chap. ii. 3. 

So ne ingenious writers then seem to have pushed mat- 
ters too far, when they have represented the people of the 
East as anciently sitting crosslegged, or on their hams, ais 
iiiiiversally as they now do. 



The Eastern people spread mats or small carpets un- 
der them when they pray, and even suppose it unlawful 
to pray on the bare ground ; is it not natural to suppose 
the Jews had something under them when they prayed, 
and that this was a piece of sackcloth in times of peculiar 

When they wore sackcloth in the day, it is not per 
haps natural to suppose they slept in fine linen; but J 
should suppose some passages of Scripture, which, in our 
translation, speak of lying in sackcloth, are rather to be 
understood of lying prostrate before God on sackcloth, 
than taking their repose on that coarse and harsh kind of 

The learned and exact Vitringa makes no remark of 
this (iind on that passage of Isaiali', Is it such a fast that 
I have chosen ? a day for a man to afflict his soul^ is it 
to how down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sack- 
cloth and ashes under him .^'* He only quotes what is said 
of Ahab, 1 Kings xxi. 27 ; and the Jews in Shusban 
Ei^ther iv. 2; as of a similar nature, and seems to under- 
stand this piece of humiliation before God of lodging on 

* Is. Iviii. 5. 


sackcloth. ^^ Buf, surelj !' it must be much more natural 
to understand the solemnif j of prostration on sackcloth 
before God, which follows the mention of hanging down 
the head, used in kneeling, or in standing as suppliants be- 
fore him, rather than of sleeping in sackcloth, the night 
before or the night after the day of fasting. 

It seems to me, in like manner, to expresi-the humilia- 
tion of Ahab with more energy, than as commonly under- 
stood : And it came to pass, when Ahab heard those 
words, that he rent his clothes^ and put sackcloth upon 
his fleshf and fasted, and prostrated himself on sack- 
cloth, Sec. The like may be said of the lyingof the Jews 
in Shushan in sackcloth. 

A passage in Josephus strongly confirms this, in which 
he describes the deep concern of the Jews for the danger 
of Herod Agrippa, after having been stricken suddenly 
with a violent disorder in the theatre of Cesarea. Upon 
the news of his danger, " immediately the multitude, with 
their wives and children, sitting upon sackcloth, accord- 
ing to their country rites, prayed for^the king : all places 
were filled with wailing and lamentation: while the king, 
who lay in an upper room, beholding the people thus 
below falling prostrate on the ground, could not himself 
remain from tears." Antiq. lib. xix, cap. 8, §2, p. 951. 
Here we see the sitting on sackcloth, resting on their 
hams, in prayer, and falling prostrate at times on the sack- 
cloth, was a Jewish observance' in times of humiliation 
and distress. 

It is a little unhappy that this passage slipped the rec- 
ollection of Vitringa, as it sets several places of Scrip- 
ture in a truer and stronger point of light, than that in 
which they are usually placed. 

The reader will easily imagine, that I do not consider 
the rendering this clause in a late exquisite and most beau- 
tiful translation of Isaiah, as one of the happiest parts of 

* Solebantenim, qui se profunde humiliabant, in sacco et cinere jacere, 
nuUo alio capitis aut corporis fulcimento sibi substrato, ut exemplo Achabi, 
et aliunde liquet. 


"Is it, that he should bow down his head like a bul- 
rush ; 

" And spread sackcloth and ashes for his couch ?" 
as I apprehend the spreading the sackcloth was for sitting 
in a half kneeling humble posture, and for prostration be- 
fore God ; rather than for sleeping on. 

Whether the Jews used carpets in common in their 
devotions, as the Mohammedans, and the Persians in par- 
ticular, now do, I will not take upon me to say ; but Sir 
John Chardin supposes these modern Eastern practices 
are derived from the Jews, and he tells us, that the Per- 
sians that are devout will have a little carpet to perform 
their devotions on, appropriated for that purpose, though 
the rooms in which they pray are all over covered with 
carpets. The reason alleged bv them it seems is, that 
they may appear before God in a low and mean condition, 
•whereas it is well known that the carpets of the East are 
often extremely rich, beautiful, and costly. They do 
not however use sackcloth in general, but the poorer sort, 
mats ; others of a higher station, felt ; and people of qual- 
ity, fine camblet."^^ 

As they make a scruple of praying on the bare groiind,f 
except in travelling, one would be inclined to think this 
custom rather arose from a care to avoid dirtj as a thing 
that was defiling, than to express humiliation, for nothing 
can be more humbling, defilement not considered, than 
kneeling on the bare ground; however, at present, they 
Lave a different apprehension of things, for they say it is 
unlawful to pray on the bare earth, or a bare floor, except 
in journeying, the earth upon which they speak to God 
being, according to them, holy, it ought to be covered from 
a principle of doing it honor, and to walk upon it, so 
covered, barefooted only. 

* Voy. tome il page 392, 393. . f Ibidem. 

+ It -was, it is probable, for this reason that the Jews were wont to choose 
the seashore for kneeling upon when they prayed, of -which we find an in- 
stance in the Acts of the Apostles, ch. xxi. 5- 




The manner in which the modern christianized Greeks 
observe the Sunday, derived, most probably, tVom the 
manner in which their Pagan ancestors observed their sa- 
cred days, may be considered as giving a lively explana- 
tion of what the Jewish Prophet meant when he said. If 
thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath^from doing thy 
pleasure on my holy day ; and call the sabbath a de- 
light ; the holy of the Lord, honorable ; and shall honor 
him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own 
pleasure, nor speaking thine own words : then shall thou 
delight thyself &c.* 

*^ In the evening," says Dr. Chandler, speaking of his 
visiting the island Tenedos, " this being Sunday and a 
festival, we were much amused with seeing the Greeks, who 
were singing and dancing in several companies, to music, 
near the town ; while their women were sifting in groups on 
the roofs of the houses, which are flat, as spectators, at 
the same time enjoying the soft air and serene sky."f 

The ancient Egyptian festivals were observed, we are 
told, with processions, with music, and other tokens of joy ; 
and we have reason to believe the account is true, from 
what is said in the book of Exodus, of the manner in which 
the Egyptianizing Jews observed the festival of the golden 
calf: it seems they eat and drank, and rose up to play, 
Exod. xxxii. 6, which is explained by verse 18 and 19, 
which speak of their dancing and singing, as the visible 
object of their worship was in the Egyptian taste ; the 
method of solemnizing the festival was, without doubtj 
after their manner also. 

The sabbaths of Jehovah were to be observed in a 
very different form. Fires are often but little wanted for 

• Is. Iviii. 13, 14. t Travels in Aaia Minor, page 18. 


(he purpose of warming themselves through the whole 
winter; thej are necessary for cooking, but no fires were 
to be kindled through their habitations on their sabbaths, 
Exod. XXXV. 3 : there was to be no feasting then. It was 
to be a time of repose, not therefore of dancing, which is 
rather a violent exercise isi those countries.^ 

But this prohibition of the Jewish lawgiver, and after» 
ward of Isaiah, did not arise from a sullen dislike oi every 
thing pleasurable even in religious solemnities. In their 
feast of Tabernacle^!, they were commanded to rejoice, 
and the injunction was redoubled. f They were command- 
ed also to rejoice before the Lord in the feast of Pente- 
cost. J Isaiah speaks of a song in the night, when a holy 
solemnity was kept, and gladness of heart, as when one 
goeth with a pipe to come into the mountain of the Lord, 
to the mighty one of Israel ,1{ and David danced before 
the ark of God, when it was removed from the house of 
Obededoin to the city of David. § But their sabbaths 
were to be observed in a more composed and silent way. 

This arose then from other causes, from a principle of 
benevolence, that the labouring hand, the slave, and even 
the cattle, might not be overborne with incessant work,^ 
that they might gather together for religious purposes,*^ 
that they might have time for meditation, and those de- 
votional exercises of the heart which are so much its 
natural consequence : Remember that thou wast a ser- 
vant in the land ofEgypt^ and the Lord thi/ God brought 
ikee out thence, Ihrou^rh a mighty hand, and by an out- 
stretched arm : therefore the Lord tliy God commanded 

* See Dr. Chandler's Travels, p. 24. "Our janizary, who was called 
Jjarneter Aga, played on a Turkish instrument like a guitar. Some ac- 
companied hiai with their voices, singing loud. Their favourite ballad 
contained the praises of Stamboul, or Constantinople. Two, and some- 
times three or four, danced together, keeping time to a lively tune, until 
they were almost breathless. These extraordinary e.\ertions were followed 
with a demand of bacshish, a reward or present," &c. 

t Deut. xvi. 13, 14, 15. t Verse 10, 11. 1| Chap. xxx. S'J. 

§ 2 Sara. vi. 14. fl Exod. xxiii. IC, ** Lev. xxiii. i}. 

VOL. II. 48 


Ihee to keep the sabbath day/^- Every one knows how fa» 
Tourable cessation from business and solitude are to naed- 
italion, and i(s attendant exercises: reading and prayer. 
These are moral considerations, and all of them per- 
fectly agreeable to the Christian dispensation, and conse* 
cjuenlly if we observe one day in the week as sacred, it 
should be observed, in general, after the same manner, as 
a lime of cessation from business as far as may well be; 
freedom from company ; an attending public worship ; 
and the exercises of devout retirement. Jewish peculi- 
arities cannot be necessary ; but the dissipation of the 
Greeks cannot be agreeable to the genius of the Gospel, 
which though by no means morose and gloomy, is never- 
theless serious and thoughtfuLf 



The stretching out the hand toward an object of de- 
votion, or an holy place, was an ancient usage among Jews 
and heathens both, and it continues in the East to this 
time, which continuance I do not remember to have seen 

If, says the Psalmist, we have forgotten the name of our 
God, or stretched out our hands to a strange god : shall 
not God seaj^ch this out, Ps. xliv, 20, 21. Ethiopia 
shall soon stretch outlier hands unto God, Ps. Ixviii. 31. 
Hear the voice of my supplications, when I cry unto thee: 
when I lift up my hand toivard thy holy oracle. Psalm 
xxviii. 2. 

* Deut. V. 15. 
f Work out your Q-ivn salvation ivlih fear and trembling, sajs t\ie apos- 
tle, Phil. ii. 12; to which may be added, that being lovers of pleasure more 
than lovers o/God ; having a form of godliness, but denying the poiver 
thereof; is the description the Apostle gives of those that are under the 
influence of a spirit, tlie reverse of that of the Gospel, 2 Tim. iii. 4, 5. Cel- 
ebrating days devoted to religious exercises, after the manner the ancient 
heathens observed their festivals, bj' no means agrees with the apostolic in- 
struction, Kom.xii. 2 ; as attention, recollection, and cessation from world- 
ly cares and conversation, are what the Lord Jesus enjoins those that 
hear his word preached, as appears by the parable of the sower, Matth 
xiii. 19, 22. 


That this altitude in prayer has conlinued among the 
Eastern people, appears by the following passages from 
Pitts, in his account of the religion and manners of the 
Mohammedans. Speaking of the Algerines throwing wax 
candles and pots of oil overboard, as a present to some 
marabbot, or Mohammedan saint. Pitts goes on,=^ and 
says, "When this is done, they all together hold up 
their hands, begging the marabbot's blessing, and a pros- 
perous voyage." This they do in common, it seems, when 
in the Straits mouth ;! "and if at any time they happen 
to be in a very great strait or distress, as being chased, or 
in a storm, they will gather money, and do likewise. "J In 
the same page he tells, the " marabbots have generally a 
little neat room built over their graves, resembling in figure 
their mosques or churches, which is very nicely cleaned, 
and well looked after." And in the succeeding page he 
tells us, " Many people there are who will scarcely pass 
by any of them without lifting up their hands, and saying 
some short prayer.*' He mentions the same devotion 
again as practised toward a saint that lies buried on the 
shore of the Red Sea, page 1 14. 

In like manner, he tells us, that at quitting the Beet, or 
holy house at Mecca, to which thej make devout pil- 
grimages, " they hold up their hands toward the Beef, 
making earnest petitions ; and then keep going backward 
till they come to the above said farewell gate. All the 
way as they retreat, they continue petitioning, holding 
up their hands, with their eyes fixed on the Beet, until 
they are out of sight of it ; and so go to their lodgings 
weeping," page 143, 144. 



The threshold of the palace of a living prince, and the 
threshold of a dead highly honored personage, are sup- 

* Page 17, 18. f Where on the Barbary shore, one of these marabbots 
lies entombed. lb. | Page li. ' 


posed fo be (he places where those that proposed to do 
them honor, prostrated themselves, touching it with their 
foreheads in token of solemn reverence. 

For this reason it is, I imagine, that the Prophet Ezekiel 
calls the sanctuary the threshold of God, and idolatrous 
temples, or chapels, when more than one place were dedi-^ 
cated to the worship of distinct idols, in one and the same 
buildins:, their thresholds, ch. sliii. 8 In their setting of 
their threshold ^ by my thresholds^ and their posts by my 
posts,^^ and the wall between me and them, or, according 
to the marginal translation, /or there was Imt a wall be- 
iween me and ttiem, they have even d filed 7ny holy name, 
by their abominations that tliey have committed, 

1 do not know why else that part of ^heir respective 
sacred edifices should be selected from the rei^t, and the 
threshold be particul;\rly mentioned by Ezekiel. 

It is certain the modern Persians make the threshold, 
in particular, the place where their devotees pay their 
reverence to their entombed saints whom they sometimes 
treat, remote as these Persians are from idolatr}", with a 
most improper and extravagant veneration. So immedi- 
ately after the 6lh distich, inscribed on the front of the 
famous and highly honored sacred tomb at Com, follows 
this : *' Happy and glorious is the believer, who through 
reverence shall prostrate himself with his head on the 
threshold of this gate, in doing which he will imitate the 
sun and the nJoofu"t 

In a chapel adjoining to that in which the saint lies, in 
which adjoining chapel one of the late kings of that coun- 
try has a superb tomb, and is supposed to lie interred, are 
seven sacred songs, written in large letters of gold, on a 
blue ground, in so many distinct panels, written in honor 
of Aaiy, Mohammed's son in law, and (iie great saint of 
the Persians, as also the ancestor of that female saint that 
lies entombed here. Among other extravagant expres- 

* Our translation dilTers from some other translators, in making these 
three words i»lural. 

t CharJin, tome i. page 203. 


sions of praise, there is this distich in the fourth hymn, 
"The angelic uiesseiiger of the truth, Gabriel, kisses 
every day the threshold of thy gate, because it is the 
only way to arrixe at the throne of Mohammed,"^ 

So ne of the living Edstern princes have been honor- 
ed in much the same manner, according to d'Herbelot.f 
But this will not explain why posts are mentioned, 
<* Setting of their threshold by n)y thresholds; and their 
po-its by my posts," Nor have I met with any account 
in wriiers that I have consulted, why these are distinctly 
in^nrioned. I would only remark, that it appears by 
what is said of E i,J that the highpriest of God, when 
placed in a situation of honor in the tabernacle, was placed 
on a seat by one of its posts; consequently I have some- 
times thought, that as setting their thresholds by the 
thresholds of God means, the making chapels or sanctu- 
aries for their idols*, where they were solemnly worship- 
ped, within the precincts of the temple itself; so setting 
up the posts of idols by those of God may mean, the ap- 
pearance of the highpriests of such idols in some part of 
the temple of Jehovah himself, with marks of dignity 
and authority, 

1 will only add, that as the Jewish princes were in like 
manner placed near the pillar, when they appeared in the 
temple with regal pomp, according to 2 Kings xi. 14 
and near the posts, or one of the posts of one of its gates 
as appears by a passage of the Prophet Ezekiel,|i the ex 
pression may be understood to refer to such royal seats 
But these are so far from being alleged as decisive proofs 
that they are only mentioned as giving some faint appear 
ance of probability to such an explanation. And if ad 
mitted, it may signify the setting up a royal seat in these 
idolatrous sanctuaries ; as there was a seat for the prince, 
when attending the worship of Jehovah. 

• Page 209. 

t Biblioth. Orien. art. Mostadem, ou Mostazero BUlah. ^ 1 Sara. i. 9, 

M Chap. xliv. $. 


But I should rather prefer the first of these inferprefa- 
lions, and suppose the posts complained of, referred to the 
pomp with which the highpriests of their idols appeared 
in the temple of Jehovah himself, whose highpriest 
alone should have had that honor. 



The Jewish highpriest describes the sword of Goliath, 
which had been laid up in the tabernacle of God, a con- 
secrated memorial of the remarkable victory gained over 
that vainglorious idolater, as Tvrapped up in some cover- 
ing ; but when our translators render it a cloth,^- which 
seems to convey the idea of an ordinary common piece of 
linen or woollen cloth, they have surely determined what 
ought to have been less indeterminate, at least ; I should 
even think it most probable, that whatever is meant by 
the covering, it was something stately and magnificent, 
according to the modes of that country, and that age. 

The covering of the sword may mean its scabbard, 
but most likely is to be understood of something in which 
both sword and scabbard were wrapped up. 

Fine wrought handkerchiefs are now frequently given 
to persons as tokens of respect ;f and are sometimes 
thrown over other things sent for presents in the East to 
the great. May we not suppose something of this kind 
was the wrapper in which this sword was placed, present- 
ed by a youth of generosity and devotion, who had a right 
to claim the king's daughter in marriage, for the service 
he had done his country by killing the champion of the 

* 1 Sam. xxi. 9. 
t Lady Mary W. Montague's Letters, yoI. ii. page 91 ; again page 15p. 


Philistines,^ and who perhaps did not present this monu- 
ment of his victory, until he was in circumstances to ena- 
ble him to do it with the requisite magnificence, if the 
other part of the spoils of Goliath had nothing fit for that 
purpose? If any part of his dress was sufficiently magnifi- 
cent, it might have appeared, we may believe, to this Jew- 
ish hero, the most proper thing to wrap up the sword in.f 

It is certain that embroidery and curious needlew^ork 
were not unknown to that age and that country : and that 
such ornamental pieces of work were deposited in the 
Tabernacle ;J that ephod itself was of something of the 
same kind ;(| and that such things were given to those 
that bore a distinguished part in gaining a victory. § It is 
by no means then improbable, that the covering of the 
sword, in which it was wrapped, was some beautiful piece 
of embroidered work. 

If the word meant merely the scabbard, which is not 
so probable, as there were particular words to express 
that, though there is reason to believe the sword was in 
some sheath, since otherwise David could not so conven- 
iently have carried it with him; I say, if it meant mere- 
ly the scabbard in which it was enclosed, it might not- 
withstanding have been of embroidered work. 

So Mr. Irwin, in the account of his adventures up the 
Red Sea, and through Egypt, tells us, that among other 
losses he sustained, the new hakem that should have par- 
ticularly befriended him, besides other articles, oppres- 

* And thus their sacred books are wont to be wrapped up in a rich case 
of brocaded silk, or some such rich materials, Arab. Nights, vol. ii. No. 
G4, &c. 

There is a fine specimen of this in the Library of the East India Compa- 
ny in Leadenhall street, a MS. containing the poetical works of the King 
of Persia richly adorned and wrapped up in costly velvet, &:o. a present 
sent by himself to the Governor General of India. Edit. 

t So a piece of the coat of James IV. of Scotland, slain at Floddenfield, 
appeared, to Catharine of Spain, the noblest banner her husband, Henry 
VIII. could display in his armies when in France. Burnet's History of the 
Reformation, vol. iii. Rec. No. 2, page G. 

± Exod. xxvi. 36, 37, ch. xxxviii. 18. j| Chap, xxxix. I, 2, 5, n. 

§ Judges V. 30. 


sively obtained from him two silk tambour waistcoats, for 
the purpose, we imagine, of co\eringhis pipes, and the 
scabbards of his swords,^ They must have seen some- 
thing of this sorf, or they woidd not have entertained an 
apprehension of his putting them to that use. 

So have I seen, in our country, the sheath of a knife 
and fork, very curiously covered with rich embroidery of 
silk of various colours, and gold or silver thread : with 
strin2;s and tassels of the same materials, for the purpose, 
I apprehend, of hanging it by the side. 



The history of the late Ali Bey affords a lively com- 
ment on the sacred history of Joseph, not only as to the 
circumstances of his being stolen away from his native 
country ; his being sold for a slave ; his rising in the 
strange land to which he was carried; his being the gov- 
ernor of all Egypt ; but also to the sending for his father, 
the honors with which he treated him, and which the 
Egyptians also, paid out of respect for Joseph. 

The particulars I first mentioned have been common 
to many, and shall be, therefure, but just mentioned ; but 
it may be pleasing to describe the last a little more at 

At seventeen Joseph was stolen awayf from his native 
country, being seized upon and sold by his own brethren, 
to strangers, who carried him into Egypt : Ali Bey, who 
was born in the Lesser Asia, on the coast of the Black 
Sea, in the year 17*28, was stolen away by some of his 
own countrymen, while he was amusing himself with hunt- 
ing in one of the woods there, at the age of thirteen, and 
was carried into Ezypt.J 

Jacob, who in ancient times lost his young son, was a 
person of consideration, in the time and place in which he 

* P. 240. t Gen. xxxvii. 2. ^ Hist, of the Revolt of Ali Bey, page 70. 


lived, being the grandson of one who was considered as a 
mighty prince among theuj,=^ and Jacob lived in ranch the 
same style in that same country, though his being of a 
different religion from the rulers of the country must, 
without doubt, have diminished his character among them : 
Ali Bey was the son of a Greek priest, a person then of 
some distinction, but labouring under the disadvantage of 
being of a different religion from that which prevailed 
there, and had the countenance of the civil magistrate, 
for that was the Mohammedan. But considerable as the 
Jewish patriarch and the Greek priest were, they both 
had the misfortune to lose a son, stolen from them, and 
each sold for a slave. 

Both were sold into the same country ; into Egypt : 
both came into the hands of great people of that country : 
and both, by degrees, rose to such a height as to govern 
that mighty state ; Joseph as viceroy of Pharaoh, king of 
Egypt ;t Ali Bey as Sheik Belief of Egypt, the first of the 
beys of that country, and, indeed, head of the Egyptian 
republic, as it is called by that author, acknowledging no 
other superior there than the Pasha, the representative of 
the Turkish emperor, and which Pasha is rather the 
Sheik Bellet's soperior in honor and outward form, than 
in real power. 

But what I would chiefly remark, is the resemblance 
that may be observed as to the honors with which they 
treated their fathers, when in this high state and condi- 
tion. Here it will be sufficient to recite the account this 
writer gives of Ali Bey ; the conformity will at once ap-» 
pear, and in a verj strong light too, to those that are well 
acquainted with the book of Genesis. 

Aii, it seems, ordered a person he had occasion to send 
to Constantinople, to transact some business for him in 

* Gen. xxlii. 6. 

t Pharaoh said to Joseph, Thou shall be ever my house, and according' 
to thy tvord shall all my people be ruled ; only in the throne -will 1 be greater 
than thou, ^nd Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Sec^ 1 have set thee over aU 
the land of Egypt, Gen. xli. 40, 41, 
YOL. II. 49 


that city, to find out his father when there, and bring him 
back with him into Egjpt. His agent was successful^ 
and brought him over; and when Daout, or David, which 
was the name of the Greek priest, who was All's father, 
approached Cairo, the capital of Egypt, where the Sheik 
Bellet resided, AH went out of the city, with a numerous 
retinue, to meet his father, and as soon as he saw him, he 
fell at his knees, and kissed his father's hand. Proceed- 
ing aftenvard to his palace, Daout's feet having, been 
washed by the domestics, "he was led into the harem,* 
and Ali Bey presented to him the princess IVIary,f and 
her child."J 

The author goes on, " The ceremony being over, Ali 
Bey left them, and went to the divan, H where he received 
congratulations from the other Beys, and the Janizar Aga. 
The Pasha himself sent his kiahaya,§ wiih his congratula- 
tions, and requested to see Daout, who was soon after in- 
troduced to the Pasha, and received with great respect, 
as the father of the Sheik Bellet." 

Every one must be struck with ihe resemblance, and 
may not the modern account serve to fill up some vacui- 
ties in ihe Jewish history ? May we not believe, that 
Jacob's feet were washed with great ceremony when 
brought off his journey ? That Asenath, Joseph's con- 
sort, and her two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, were pre- 
sented to him? That he received the congratulatory com- 
pliments of the principal Egyptians on the occasion, not- 
withstanding the difference of religion between them and 
Jacob, the Mohammedans of Egypt being as conceited of 
the superiority of their religion to that of the Greek 
church, as the worshippers of the ancient Egyptian idols 
could be of the preference due to their religion, when 
compared with the simple, unadorned religion of Jacob, 

* Or -women's apartment. f All's principal wife. 

t Page 85, of the history of Ali. 

II The assembly of Beys, &c. uho govern Egypt, of whom the sheik bel- 
let is the chief 

§ Lieutenant, 


whose family were, we know, an abomination to llie 
Egyptians ^^ It is certain thai Jacob was presented to 
Pharaoh as Daout was to the Pasha, and received with as 
much respect, at least, since Jacob blessed the Egyptian 
prince. f Nor probably, was Joseph, the ancient Sheik 
Bellet of Egypt, unattended when he went to meet his 
father, though the sacred historian simply says, " that 
Joseph made ready his chariot, and went up to meet Is- 
rael his father, to Goshen, and presented himself to him." J 
As AH went out to meet his father with a great and pomp- 
ous attendance, we may believe Joseph paid Jacob this 
honor in his lifetime, as we are expressly told he did at 
his death. And Joseph went up to bury his father ; and 
with him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders 
of his house, and all the elders of the land ofEgypt.\\ 

Striking, however, as the resemblance was in many re- 
spects, in some points there was a great difference: Ali 
Bey, either by compulsion or persuasion, or a mixture of 
both, renounced the Christian religion in which he was 
educated ; Joseph continued firm in that of the Patri- 
archs ; Jacob continued in Egypt to the time of his death ; 
but Daout would not stay there, but returned to his own 
country : Joseph died in Egypt in great honor; while 
Ali experienced a miserable reverse, dying in Egypt, 
but in prison, of the wounds which he received in the fa- 
tal battle that overwhelmed him. But there are so many 
particulars in which there is an agreement, that the com- 
paring them together gives a very sensible pleasure to 
me, and perhaps may to some of my readers, as there is 
a very strong resemblance between the honors paid by 
these eminent young personages to their aged parents, 
and on their account, by the Egyptians and the great men 
of that country. 

* Gen. xlvi, 34. t Chap, xlvii. 7—10. i Chap. xlvl. 20 

II Gen. 1. 7. 




Among us, here in Europe, the distinction between 
honorary and pecuniary rewards is so great, that we of- 
tentimes can hardly think of jumbh'ng them together as an 
acknowledgment of public services; and the same person 
that would receive the first with emotions of great pleas- 
ure, would think himself affronted by one of a pecuniary 
kind; butit isofherwise in the East, audit was so anciently, 

De Tott did many great services to the Turkish em- 
pire, in the time of their late war with Russia, and the 
Turks were disposed to acknowledge them by marks of 
honor. " His highness," said the first minister, speaking 
of the Grand Seignior, " has ordered me to bestow on 
you this public mark of his esteem, and, at the same tinse, 
made a sign to the master of the ceremonies to invest me 
with the pelisse ^^ while the hasnadarf presented me with 
a purse of 200 sequins. "J 

The lively French oflScer was hurt by the offer of the 
sequins. "1 directly turned toward those who had 
accompanied me, and showing them my pelisse, I have 
received, said J, with gratitude, this proof of the Grand 
Seignior's favour; do you return thanks to the vizier for 
this purse, it is his gift. 

" This expedient, which I preferred to a discussion of 
our different customs, was a suflScient lesson to the vizier, 
at the same time that it disengaged me from the embar- 
rassment of Oriental politeness." 

He then in a note adds, "This Turkish custom of giv- 
ing money occasioned the greatest mortification to M. de 
Bonneval, that a man, like him, could receive. The am- 

* Which robe was richly crmined, according to the preceding page. 

f Or treasurer. 

* Mem. Tome iii p 127. A sequin, according to p, 110, is a gold coin of 
different values : that most in use is worth 5s. lOd.of our money, conse- 
quently 200 sequins of this sort ucre equal to 581. 6s. 8d. or something move. 
^i>aa 55 guineas. 


bassador extraordinary, from the emperor, who in the 
Austrian army had been in an inferior station to the refu- 
gee, dined, as is customary with the vizier. The Porte 
had chosen Kiathana,* for the place of this entertainment. 
M. de Bonneval had orders to repair thither with the 
corps of bombardiers, of which he was commander. 
When the exercise was over, he was sent for by the viz- 
ier, who gave him a handful of sequins, which his situa- 
tion obliged him to accept, with submission." 

Just thus we find Joab would have rewarded an Israel- 
itish soldier of his army, in the days of King David, who 
saw Absalom hanging in a tree : Why didst thou not 
smite him there to the ground, and I would have given 
thee ten shekels of silver, and a girdle.^ 2 Sam. xviii. 11, 
The girdle would have been an honorary reward, like de 
Tott's erinined vest; the ten shekels, or half crowns, 
woidd have been a pecuniary recompense, like the 200 se- 
quins de Tott disdained to receive. 

I may add, that a furred robe, in general, is no dis- 
tinguishing; badge of dignity, for it may be worn by wealthy 
people in private life, who can bear the expense ; so that 
there is no ground to suppose, Joab's giving a girdle to 
the soldier would have been conferring some military hon- 
or, somewhat like knighting him, as, if 1 remember right, 
some have imagined : it would have been simply a valua- 
^>le present, and enabling him in after time to appear with 
such a girdle as the rich wore, instead of the girdle of a 
peasant, but united with the consciousness and the rep- 
utation of its being acquired by doing some public service^ 
and not the mere effect of being descended from a wealthy 

The apparatus which some of the Eastern people make 
use of to gird themselves with is very mean. The com- 
mon Arabs, according to de la Roque, use a girt adorned 
with leather; and their women make use of a cord, or strip 
of cloth ; but some of the Arab girdles are very rich, ac- 
pording to this writer.f The girdle Joab proposed io 

* A place in the outskirts of Constantinople, 
t ^^7- dans la Pal. chap. xvi. page 211, fccc. 


give, was doubtless designed hy him fo be understood to 
be one of such value, as to be answerable to the supposed 
importance of the service he wished the man had per- 
formed, as well as his own dignity. 

So Symon Simeonis, an Irish traveller to the Holy 
Land, in the year 1322, tells us, *' Ihat the Saracens of 
E2;ypt rarely, if ever, girded themselves wilh aiTy thing 
but a towel, on which they kneeled to say their prayers, 
except their people of figure, who wore girdles like those 
of ladies, very broad, all of silk, and superbly adorned 
with gold and silver, in which they extremely pride 

I cannot well finish this article without remarking, from 
what the French baron says concerning himself, what 
strong disagreeable impressions of an erroneous kind, may 
be made upon the mind of an European at the otFering 
some of the Asiatic presents, which are not only not af- 
fronting in their views, but designed to do those honor to 
whom they are presented, since de Tott could not get the 
better of it, though he perfectly knevv the innocency of 
the intention, and had resided long enough, one would 
have thought, in the country to have destroyed the ia> 



I DO not know that any method can be taken, to repress 
that petulant delicacy with regard to Eastern gifts, which 
the Baron de Tott expressed in the passage cited in the 
last article, when he gives us an account of his receiving 
the robe with gratitude, but he rejected the two hundred 
sequins, in such a manner as might teach the vizier no more 

* Itin. p. 29. Saraceni autem raro vel nunqiiam cinguntur nisi tualla, 
quara cum oratum vadunt coram se extendunt, exceptis nobilibus et equiti- 
hxiB, qui cingulis cinguntur ad dominarum modum, latis et de serico totali- 
t'er factls, auro et argpnto nobilisBlmc oinatis, in quibus summe gloriantur. 


to offer him such an affront ; as well as to correct the un- 
happy representations persons have been ready to make, 
of some of the presents mentioned in Scripture, than to 
Compare them wilh some things of the like kind in former 
ages in our own country. Such a comparison may be 
useful to persuade us to abate soruewhat of that petulance, 
and not to pretend to put that construction on the manage- 
ments of other countries, or other times, which is formed 
merely on our own usagej. 

We are ready decidedly to condemn the giving small 
sums of money to great personages by v;ay of present, or 
things of little value. We consider such managements as 
affronting ; but they were consistent wilh respect in other 
countries, and in our own too, in former times. 

I would begin with what passed in Ireland, a part of 
our own country, some centuries back. The Countess of 
Moira, in a paper published in the seventh volume of the 
Archfeologia, or the Transactions of the Antiquarian 
Society, tells us, that ** when the monarch of Ireland*' 
called the king of Ulster to the field, or to a public assem- 
bly, he gave him ten ships, eleven cups, (whether of silver 
or of wood, we are not told,) fifty horses, fifty swords, fifty 
large robes, fifty coats of mail, fifty mantles, fifty knivesj 
ten greyhounds, twenty handsful of leeks, and twenty 
swan's eggs," p. 100, note. The ships, the swords, the 
coats of mail, &c. we would readily admit were proper 
presents from the monarch to a subordinate prince and 
ally, but is there any thing more laughable in any of the 
Eastern presents, than twenty handsful of leeks, to which 
perhaps may be added, the twenty swan's eggs ? 

But Ireland may be imagined to have been much more 
uncivilized than England ; let us then run over the list 
Hume has given us in his history of England, from the 
history of the Exchequer by Madox, which I had an op- 
portunity of consulting, as to the most of the articles, and 

* For they had several kitis^doms then in Ireland, as we h?A seven in Eng- 
land in the time of the Saxons, one king being chosen as chief over the rest, 
called the roonarch, as ^^'as the usage among the Saxons of England. 


found Hume's account- just. There, among other things, 
we shall find " three Flemish caps, two robes of green, ^' 
the promise of as many lampreys as a man could get ;f 
ten marks and three hawks : J ien bulls and ten cotvs;!| 
two hundred hens, by a good woman to have access to her 
husband, who was in confinement." How despicable in 
our eyes? ! Hume also mentions *•' an hundred shillings; 
ten dogs ; twenty lampreys ; and twenty shads; and thut 
the catalogue might be enlarged." 

But these things were many ages ago» Let us come 
nearer our own times. Queen Elizabeth was indisputably 
a great princess, and affected great magnificence, yet we 
find her receiving sums of money, and so low as ten 
pounds, for new years' gifts; and from some people trink- 
ets, and other trifles. One presented her with a pot of 
green ginger, and another of orange flowers, a second with 
a marchpane, and a third with a pye cringed. § To which 
may be added, that a gentleman has assured me, that 
there is a slory in the beginning of the Sidney papers, of 
Queen Elizabeth's putting into her pocket after dinner, at 
a place where she was visiting, an agate handled knife and 
fork, after having had many things given her before during 
her visit, which pocketing the knife and fork was thought 
an especial mark of her gracioitsness. 

Shall we not, after this, be disposed to make great al- 
lowances for some of the gifts mentioned by travellers 
into the East, and particularly for some found in the sa- 
cred history ? The usages of other countries, and former 
times, must be expected greatly to differ from those of 
our own. 

The reflection Mr. Hume makes, on that list of presents 
to our ancient princes, is extremely sensible; and as com- 
ing from one that was by no means prejudiced in favour of 
the Scripture account of persons and things, deserves the 
more notice. It is as follows : "It appears that the an- 
cient kings of England put themselves entirely on the foot 

* History of the Exchequer, page 332. f P^S^ ^53. 4: Page 329. 
II Page 319. § Archaeol. vol. i. 7, 10. 


of the barbarous Easfern princes, whom no man must ap- 
proach without a present, who sell all their good offices, 
and who intrude themselves into every business, that thejr 
may have a pretence for extorting money. "^ He after- 
ward added. "It will however be subject to remark* 
that the same ridiculous practices and dangerous abuses 
prevailed in Normandy, and probably in all the other 
states of Europe. England was not in this respect more 
barbarous than its neighbours."! 



When the wise son of Sirach supposes, that the con- 
tumelious refusing to make a friendly exchan2,e of presents 
with other people, is a just ground of shame, he seemb to 
refer to that mutual accepting and offering presents which 
is now so common in these countries, and probably was 
so anciently, and which is esteemed such an essential 
part of friendliness of temper. " Be ashamed, of scorning 
to give and take." 

A mutual exchange of kind Oifices, and even of little 
presents, is among us considered as an amiableness, and 
the contrary as a hoggishness that one ought to be asham- 
ed of; but these feelings appear to be much more lively in 
the Eastern world, and were so when the book entitled 
Ecclesiasticus was written. 

Especially if we consider this book as drawn up in 
Egypt,J and attend to Masllet's account of the use of pres. 
ents in that country. "There is no nation in the world 
where presents are more used than in this, especially on 

occasion of deaths or marriages It is practised in 

the marriages of Christians as well as of the Jews, upon 
going in pilgrimage to Jerusalem, or to Mecca, and more 
particular!)^ on a return from thence. It is further prac- 

* Vol. ii. page 131. t P^&e *3i, 13^. 

i See the prologue of the vrisdom of Jeius the 5on of Siraoh. 

roh, II, 50 


tised at the t'mie of the baptism of Christians, and of the 
circumcision of the Tnrks, whicli are the principal cere- 
monies of the two religions. It is true, that there is no 
dishonor attends the receiving tJiese presents, for a return 
never fails of being made on the like occasions. Finally, 
it is above all made use of at the times of visiting each 
other, which is very frequently in the course of the year, 
and which are always preceded by presents of fowls, sheep, 
rice, coffee, and other things of the like nature."* 

This last article is very diiferent from the usages that 
obtain in Europe, but shows their great use in intercourses 
of social life in Esypt. 

In his last letlerf he takes notice of the presents made 
io the conductor of the pilgrims going to 31ecca, and says, 
that during his continuance at Cairo, after his entering 
upon his office in form, *' there are none of his friends, 
none of the rich men, or people of consideration af Cairo, 
but what make him a present of eatables, that may be of 
use to him in his journey ; so that he has no occasion to 
be at much expense in pro\iuing for what ma} be want- 
ing in the desert. However this is only advancing sums 
of money, which he takes care to repay at his return. Ac- 
cordingly, that he may not be duped by this interested 
kind of generosity, he keeps an exact register of all the 
presents that have been made him, that he may make a 
retmn precisely of the same value, and no more, to those 
from whom he received them. 

It is certain that there can be little virtue in such an 
intercourse, however it may be customary, and therefore 
hardly worthy of the notice of this very moral Jewish 
writer, I would therefore set down the following para- 
graph, which it is to be imagined better coincides with 
what the son of Sirach had in view. " It must however be 
acknowledged that the Turks and the Arabs are very lib- 
eral on these occasions, and that they inspire them to act 
in a very noble and generous manner, which appears not 
to have the least of that sordid interestedness with which 

^ Descript. de I'Egjpte, Letter 11, page 137. f Letter dcrn. page 



they are justly reproachable in every thing else. It is 
suflScient to be merely the neighbour of one that is going 
in pilgrimage lo iMecca, to engage him to send a present, 
as soon as he is told of it. It is true also, that this pres- 
ent never fails of having an equivalent return made, if the 
person survives the journey, and his circumstances will 
admit of it. But if he finds himself in such a state as not 
to be well able to do it, the least trifle, if not worth three 
pence, will be received with pleasure, and they are per- 
fectly satisfied with the smallest token of gratitude 
and remembrance.'* This enables us very perfectly to 
apprehend the thought of this passage of Ecclesiasti- 
cus : a readiness to receive every token of respect that 
appears to come from the heart, and to make all the 
return true gratitude mingled with discretion will admit 
of. The custom also at first might, and probably did 
arise from ben*ificence, though in time it might become 
little better than traffic. 



Of the importance of presents, even of the smallest 
Talue, Mr. Bruce, in his Travels in Egypt, gives us the 
following proofs : 

" Preparing to leave Metrahenny, and to begin our 
voyage in earnest, an Arab arrived from my friend the 
Howadatf with a letter and a few dates, not amounting to 
one hundred. The Arab \tas one of the people that had 
been sick, and wanted to go to Kenne, in Upper Egypt. 
The Sheik expressed his desire that « I would take him 
with me this trifle of about 250 miles ; that I would give 
him medicines, cure his disease, and maintain him all the 
way.' On these occasions there is nothing like ready 
compliance ; he had off*ered to carry me the same jour- 
ney, with all my people and baggage, without hire : I 


therefore auswered instantly, * You sWl be very wel- 
come, upon my bead be it.' Upon tills, the miserable 
wretch, half naked, laid down a dirty cloth, containing 
about ten dates, and the Sheik's servant, which had at- 
tended him, returned in triumph, I mention this trifling 
circumstance, to show, how essential to human and civil 
intercourse presents are considered in the East ; whether 
it be dates, or diamonds, they are so much a part of their 
manners, that, without them, an inferior will never be at 
peace in his own mind, or think that he has a hold of his 
superior for his favour or protection." Travels, vol. i. 
page 69. 

In his passage up the Nile, having come to a place 
called Shekh Ammer, where he met with some friendly 
Arabs, he observes, "Medicines and advice being given 
on my part, faith and protection pledged on theirs, two 
bushels of wheat and seven sheep were carried down to the 
boat ; nor could we decline their kindness, as refusing a 
present in that country, however it is understood in ours, 
is just as great an insult, as coming into the presence of a 
superior with no present at all. The great people among 
them came, and, after joining hands, repeated a kind of 
prayer,* by which they declared themselves, and their 
children, accursed, if ever they lifted their hands against 
me in the Tell or field, in the desert, or in the river; or, 
in case that I or mine should fly to them for refuge, if they 
did not protect us at the risk of their lives, their families, 
and their fortunes ; or, as they enphatically expressed it, 
to the death of the last male child among them. Travels^ 
vol. i. page 152. 

• This oath was in use among the Arabs or shepherds as earlv as the day* 
'if Abraham, Gen. xxi, 22, 23, 26. 




Observations on various passages of 

Princeton Theological Seminary-Speer Library 

1 1012 00150 8813